Manchester City Council’s executive will next week be asked to endorse a draft strategic regeneration framework for the Portland Street area, which would trigger public consultation into its indicative plans.
The framework sets out the context and opportunity for the area in the rectangle between Portland Street, Chorlton Street, Bloom Street and Abingdon Street, with Sackville Street running through the cenrre south-east from Portland Street.
The document sets out the city’s ambition to introduce new commercially-led development with associated uses that complement the surrounding areas. Effectively, this area is the link between the Gay Village and Chinatown, and the council wants to improve it further as more development comes on stream in the areas around those long-established areas – Kampus being one example. Priorities include more active frontages and improved public realm.
There are only four sites within the area, but each are of significant size, with major implications for existing occupiers and the wider city.
Site 1 is where Property Alliance Group is developing a 329-bedroom, 17-storey hotel, on the site of what was 55 Portland Street. Marshalls is already onsite, with the project set for completion in 2019. A further hotel is earmarked for the site following PAG’s scheme.
Site 2 is the plot mostly occupied by Bruntwood’s Manchester One office tower, with the Yates’ Wine Lodge pub and the ramp to the NCP car park also included. Manchester One will be retained, with the ramp removed to facilitate new retail and leisure space. A new building and associated public realm is proposed at the corner of Chorlton Street and Portland Street.
Site 3 includes the coach station at ground level, and four storeys of parking above. There is also a pub, the Thompson Arms, at the junction of Sackville Street and Major Street.
This site could deliver new commercial or residential led, mixed use development, complemented by ground floor leisure and retail units and a proposed community use facility, potentially a medical centre.
Site 4 is bound by Bloom Street, Major Street, Abingdon Street and Sackville Street and is mostly surface parking, being used for Pride and other events throughout the year. The New York New York pub sits within the rectangle, but is classed as outside the SRF area. Site 4 is proposed as the location for a new multi-storey car park, potentially with rooftop gardens. It would feature retail, restaurant and community space over several levels, with the report suggesting up to 22,000 sq ft of community uses over various floors.
The report, from the city council’s strategic director of development Eddie Smith, stresses that “all indicative proposals will be subject to dialogue and consultation with existing businesses and other stakeholders within the SRF area, to ensure that it responds, where possible, to their requirements”.