First Street Boulevard

MIPIM 2008: Ask rebrands Central Spine as First Street

Rachael Tinniswood

Ask Developments has relaunched Central Spine as First Street, Manchester, and has unveiled images of the pedestrianised boulevard at its heart.

The 18m wide, 300m long boulevard is claimed to be the first major new pedestrianised thoroughfare in the city for many decades and will connect the community of Hulme through the Mancunian Way to the Hacienda site on Whitworth Street West.

The 20-acre mixed use scheme will also include five new public squares, the first of which will be developed and open in summer 2009; the first BREEAM rated 'Excellent' post-construction office building in the city, offering 180,000 sq ft of space; and the first Green Wall in the UK -a tourist attraction which, at 30m by 11m will be Europe's largest vertical garden.

Located on the southern edge of the city, First Street Manchester, which has an end value of £750m, will span across 20 acres and will include 1.8m sq ft of offices, around 1,500 homes and 350,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.

Ken Knott, chief executive at Ask Developments said: "We are very excited about First Street, which we are confident will become a favourite destination for Mancunians and visitors alike. Our vision is for a dramatic new quarter to extend the heart of this great global city from the historic railway viaduct to the Mancunian Way.

Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council said: "We welcome the energy and innovation which characterises this new vibrant initiative by Ask. Our continued capacity to deliver growth will depend upon bringing forward exciting new quarters such as this and we have every confidence that in working with Ask, the area will become a major part of an increasingly successful regional centre."

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