With almost two weeks to go until the conference in Cannes, Place North West takes a look back at some of the major projects announced or talked up at last year’s event, and the progress, or lack thereof, made in the last 12 months.
St Michael’s, Manchester
The long-running project, which has gone through a redesign and overcome a series of objections from both statutory bodies and the public, has largely avoided the limelight since last year’s conference.
Speaking to Place at MIPIM 2018, the developer behind the controversial project in Manchester city centre, Gary Neville, said it was likely to start on site in March 2019, with further design work continuing and a price still to be finalised with main contractors.
Under the existing planning consent, the scheme is set to provide 189 apartments; 216 hotel bedrooms; nearly 150,000 sq ft of offices; retail and restaurants, and a new synagogue.
Neville said the entire project would take three-and-a-half years to complete, but that it could be delivered in phases, with the commercial and hotel element delivered first, hopefully within two-and-a-half years.
With not long until Neville’s deadline hits, progress is still reportedly being made, with project insiders suggesting it will be a ‘when’ work starts, rather than ‘if’.
Announcements came thick and fast for Wirral Waters at last year’s conference, including deals with Urban Splash for a modular homes concept, progress at Wirral Waters One, and an industrial deal with Harlex all getting airtime.
Urban Splash’s deal was formally signed at the beginning of this year, bringing forward a £55m scheme featuring nearly 350 homes, delivered via Splash’s modular homes business House in partnership with Peel.
Similarly, Wirral Waters One has progressed with the 500-home project gaining planning consent late last year, although Peel has warned there are “further hurdles” to clear before construction work can begin.
Harlex’s deal, which was intended to include 70,000 sq ft of speculative industrial space, is yet to materialise despite being trailed at MIPIM 2018.
Great Northern Warehouse, Manchester
The revamp of the prominent site in Manchester received planning permission in March 2018, and Place met with the developer Trilogy at MIPIM a few weeks later.
At the time, the plans were set to deliver 142 apartments over 209,000 sq ft; 22,000 sq ft of food and beverage space; a 17,000 sq ft gym; and 3,000 sq ft of retail.
Works on the opening phase, featuring a pedestrianised street including retail, café, and restaurants, were earmarked to start later in 2018, but there was a rethink on some of the plans, particularly the residential space, which were switched for offices in a planning amendment in December 2018.
As of last March, Trilogy’s Wolstenholme said “options were open” for the next phases of the project, although no major works have yet been carried out at the site.
Bolton’s Church Wharf
Church Wharf has been long in the making, ever since plans by developers Ask and Bluemantle hit the buffers during the recession. Bolton Council looked to resurrect plans for the site and announced it had chosen Muse as its development partner at the 2018 conference.
Progress has been substantial with Muse and architect AEW releasing their concept for the site in the town centre earlier this year. A planning application for the first phase is expected in late spring or early summer; public consultation events were held last month.
The £150m project features a residential-led mixed use development including around 320 homes as well as the potential for a hotel, offices, and ground-floor retail and commercial space.
Knowledge Quarter, Liverpool
Since March last year, one of the city’s biggest development sites has progressed at pace. The 2018 conference saw designs revealed for the £35m home for the Royal College of Physicians, dubbed The Spine, which has now broken ground with Morgan Sindall attached as main contractor.
Along with The Spine, the city council also announced it had shortlisted three operators for a hotel at the Knowledge Quarter. A further diagnostics centre for Proton Partners was also hinted at last year, and this too has started on site, again with Morgan Sindall attached as builder.
Expect further announcements at this year’s conference with the launch of a spin-out development company, named Sciontec.
The council is likely to use the upcoming conference to launch the search for a private investor in the Knowledge Quarter and across the wider City Region.
Park Gate Village, Knutsford
Tatton Group’s plans for around 250 homes on land between Knutsford and Tatton Park have had outline permission since 2015, but a search was launched to find a joint venture equity partner at last year’s MIPIM.
Since then, the developer has been pushed back to the drawing board with Cheshire East planners refusing a reserved matters application for the site in November last year; officers argued the scheme would amount to “inappropriate development in the green belt”, despite the land being allocated for housing under the council’s Local Plan.
While the reserved matters application was refused, Tatton decided to re-consult with the council over the plans, which are likely to return to committee this year. In the meantime, a fresh search for development partners has been launched, led by CBRE Manchester’s land and development team.
Arundel Street, Castlefield
One proposal which didn’t go to plan is this 386-home, 36-storey development on Arundel Street in Manchester’s Castlefield, put forward by Logik Developments, headed by former cricketer Andrew Flintoff.
Designed by SimpsonHaugh, CGIs of the scheme first emerged ahead of MIPIM, and Flintoff was present along with partners Neil Spencer and Tony Bhatti to talk up the project, along with Logik’s interest in other sites in the North West, including at Mayfield.
However, not everything ran smoothly. A planning application was submitted in May, before Manchester’s planning committee deferred a decision on the scheme in September, and consequently decided to reject the proposals altogether the following month. As of this week, no alternative proposals have been put forward for the site.
Enterprise City Campus, Manchester
Allied London’s chief executive Michael Ingall unveiled the above design by architect Child Graddon Lewis for a site dubbed Enterprise City Campus in Manchester, on the last day of 2018’s conference.
While Ingall said the proposal was “only a concept”, the designs could have provided around 500,000 sq ft targeted at technology businesses. It was earmarked for a plot next to The Factory arts centre on part of the Trinity Islands site.
These were rather reminiscent of plans Allied commissioned from SimpsonHaugh for MIPIM 2016 which proposed a 300,000 sq ft ‘enterprise cluster’ building within St John’s, known as Central Village.
Like its 2016 iteration, the 2018 proposal now appears to be no more, with the sale of the Trinity Islands site to Renaker signalling that it’s going to be flats rather than a commercial cluster in this part of the city.