Buildings of up to 17 storeys in height housing 347,000 sq ft of offices alongside a hotel will form part of the latest expansion of Manchester’s First Street, brought forward by developers Ask, Richardson, and Patrizia.
An updated masterplan for the area is set to go before Manchester City Council’s executive next week which sets out the next steps for the area, which could host an additional 750,000 sq ft of commercial space.
Two plots have been earmarked as the next areas of development, focussed around four buildings ranging between 17 and 10 storeys in height. This are set to add around 347,000 sq ft of commercial space to the area, which already houses two major office blocks – No1, and No8, the latter set to complete later this year.
The planning applications are said to hinge on occupier demand for No8, which the council said was 47% pre-let. However, it is understood that No8 is already nearly full with Gazprom taking 60,000 sq ft; engineering giant WSP taking a further 60,000 sq ft; and Odeon taking 26,000 sq ft.
According to the city council, it was “possible” planning applications could come forward this summer “in light of significant occupier demand”.
The four new buildings focus on plots bordered by Medlock Street, River Street, Hulme Street, and Willmott Street.
One of these is likely to host a hotel, with “specific operator demand” for a space to complement the existing Melia Innside hotel. This would be incorporated into one of the commercial blocks rather than being a separate building.
Retail, leisure, and flexible commercial space is also being considered for the Willmott Street frontage of the plots, although this depends on occupier demand.
The new developments will be situated on a 2.3 acre plot bought by a Richardson-Ask joint venture from Patrizia earlier this year. The site is currently hoarded off and used as a site office for No8; completion of this scheme been delayed following the collapse of two contractors working on the project, Lakesmere and Carillion.
Project manager Rayner Rowen has since been drafted in to complete the build, which is expected later this year.
Earlier this year, Ask, Richardson, and Patrizia confirmed plans to build between 750,000 sq ft and 1m sq ft of offices at the site, which already hosts the hotel, two offices, a 279-room Vita Student scheme, a 700-space Q-Park, and the HOME arts venue.