Portugal Street East
The scheme was designed by Jon Matthews Architects

Path clear for Olympian’s Piccadilly towers 

Dan Whelan

Work can now begin on The Fairfax, 488 apartments in Manchester’s Piccadilly East district, after the council issued a final decision notice more than a year after approving the project. 

The scheme, designed by Jon Matthews Architects, is made up of two towers of 29 and 23 storeys and was first unveiled in 2017 by a joint venture between developer Olympian Homes and investor Aecom Capital. 

Aecom’s construction arm, Tishman, was lined up to construct the build-to-rent scheme but it is unclear if the investor is still involved in the project.

The final sign off for The Fairfax comes at a period of heightened activity in Piccadilly East, following the approval of Packaged Living’s The Castings and the formation of a JV between Forshaw Land and Property and Salboy to deliver the 23-storey Victoria House. 

Elsewhere within Piccadilly East, Capital & Centric is on site delivering its 275-room Jenga-style Leonardo hotel. 

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I hope the name ‘Piccadilly East’ doesn’t stick, it’s rubbish and unimaginative. Could it not be called St Andrews after the church that existed in the area?

There is still a St Andrews street, St Andrews Square and a remaining cross on the old church yard.

By Aaron

What a month for Piccadilly East!!!!!!! Super excited to see all these proposals come forward and even more so the new public park and public square which they are built around.

By Matt Pickering

This site has been for sale for 12 months. The current partners have no ability to deliver. Not sure this area is as exciting as some might suggest. Viability edging towards undeliverable with rising build costs!

By Hopenot

Decent design, should last the test of time.

By MrP

St Andrews is meant to be imaginative?

I prefer Piccadilly East but open to suggestions.

By Anonymous

@Aaron I think Piccadilly East has a more contemporary feel to it. St Andrew’s arguably is much less imaginative. Especially naming an area after a building that no longer exists. It’s names like “cotton works” and “hacienda” etc where the original thing with actually been demolished to make way for it, it doesn’t make sense.

By YungJeezy

Shot myself in the foot there.
I’m still not keen on existing names with geographical tags added on.

NOMA is another dull one which hasn’t quite caught on but at least has an acronym. New Town, New Cross, and Vauxhall Gardens are all names being developed as part of Victoria North (which itself will probably fade out of use once the districts themselves develop).

If you’ve got a whole new district why not call it a whole new name or something with a historical link to the area?

By Aaron

@Aaron, “Piccadilly East” is the name of the area, not the building, therefore the name fits.

St Andrews reminds me of a dreary old football ground in Birmingham.

By Manctopia

Why don’t we just continue calling it the red light district. It’s honest, and properly advertises the services in the area.

By ALL

Sackville would be a good name for this area as Sackville street runs to it.

By Elephant

I agree ^^. St Andrews seems an appropriate name. I hope the high speed station(s) names are up for debate. It seems there is likely to be a line (tunneled), missed opportunity for 4 stops/stations. I go for Store Street ~HS ¬Central and GM ~HS – North East, the stop off the M62 between Rochdale and Oldham and Wigan should have a HS stop GM ~HS – West and of course M’cr Airport, GM ~South. There should be a push for all 4 stops to be High Speed stations with the appropriate spec. The HS line seems to fizzle out as it approaches Wigan, why?, for just a couple of miles? M’cr should have 4 HS stations including large underground station at Piccadilly /Store St /London Road and even High speed square but back to East of the station complex. St Andrews sounds good to me.

By Robert Fuller

Most of are new buildings are just looking pretty run of the mill?! Nothing exciting.

By Michael

A simple enough design with no architectural challenges.
Must be an easy ride to be an architect nowadays.
Do you think Manchester residents will ever benefit from all the construction that is happening?

By John K

John K, benefit in what way? Benefit from all the jobs , transport services, hotels , offices, retail and leisure services that have opened up in past couple of decades? Probably. Benefited from the huge amounts of foreign investment that is still being spent here or indeed the Government investment like the BBC and the national Cyber security service that are expanding here . Benefitted too from the massive airport expansion and the huge business parks that bring jobs and services? Well I know I have. There’s always downsides as there are to all cities but overall it’s much better to improve and invest than to live somewhere far less vibrant . If I were to do that I would probably be on here trying to diminish the work of others because I wouldn’t feel good about myself at all ,and there really is no ‘benefit’ in that.

By Anonymous

Well said anonymous! Its easy to forget just how much investment has been and is continuing to be made across Manchester and I say this as an Londoner. It’s going to be needed more than ever as we open up after the worst of the Pandemic and there is still much to do to to ‘Level up’ as the government keeps telling us.

By Steve Vkr