Ahead of this afternoon’s second public exhibition, developers Trilogy Real Estate and Peterson have released an updated image of their intentions for the key Manchester scheme, with the headline change being the removal of the café on the corner of the public square.
The first event, revealing images of the square and the new Dean Street retail pitch, was held on 10 August, prior to which consultation with around 200 stakeholders, including residents in the immediate area, had taken place.
Robert Wolstenholme of Trilogy Real Estate said: “Just as our consultation activity influenced the designs we put on display at our exhibition, we will reflect on the feedback we have received from the public before we finally submit our designs for planning.
“Thirty four people left written responses to the plans we put on display on the 10 August and the overwhelming majority of feedback was positive. Nevertheless, there is a passionate interest in the quality of public realm.
“Our team proposed a small cafe under the square with an entrance facing Deansgate that would informally separate the calmer landscaped area of the renewed Great Northern Square from the more animated Peter Street, Deansgate and the new Dean Street.
“While this design specifically sought to avoid loss of public realm, there was a view expressed that the outdoor seating areas associated with cafes and restaurants would diminish it. In response we have updated our design.”
The scheme will be on display between 3pm and 8pm at the Great Northern Warehouse.
Since acquiring the Great Northern in 2013, Trilogy and Hong Kong-based Peterson have been developing proposals. There have been two iterations of a strategic regeneration framework, the latest approved in February this year. In March, a design team was appointed, made up of SimpsonHaugh, Planit-IE, masterplanner Will Alsop, and Johnson Naylor.
The first phase of the proposed scheme focuses on Great Northern Square. The existing amphitheatre will be covered over, with a lawn placed on top and broad-leaved trees planted to make the square more attractive and navigable. In the warehouse building itself, up to 100 apartments could be created in the first phase as the current car park space is removed.
The former Dwell unit will be demolished, to create Dean Street, a new pedestrian street running parallel to Deansgate, providing units aimed at independent retailers, cafés, restaurants and bars. Across the site, Trilogy said that public space will be increased by 27%, from 66,000 sq ft to 84,000 sq ft.
Wolstenholme concluded: “The Great Northern offers one of the most significant regeneration opportunities in Manchester city centre. Our vision is to create a new urban quarter that reflects Manchester’s standing as a truly global city.”
A planning application is expected to be made this year.