Great Northern Square 24 AUG 17 A
Great Northern Square CGI, with café removed

Proposals updated for Great Northern

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.

Great Northern Square CGI

The proposal with café included

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.

Your Comments

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Even better! loving what they’re doing here so far.

By .

I liked the cafe design but much prefer the additional tree!

By David

Greenery! In Manchester!

Woop! Well done for this, I’m amazed they’ve agreed to remove some retail space (the cafe) in favour of more landscaping. Bravo, very un-Manchester.

More of this please.

By Spock

As much as I love trees and wish there was more greenery in Manchester, the cafe made the space more vibrant and useful. Now it’s just a walk through where no one will hang about for long.
The incredible Bryant Park in New York is a stunning piece of public realm with a lawn, lots of trees and at least four cafes/bars/restaurants around its edge which give the park a special character and ensure it is full of people all the time. It’s a shame that potential has been lost here.

By Heather

The quality of finish here needs to be as good as Greengate Square which has excellent materiality as well as different but robust planting. The willows (which I admit can be problematic on occasion) are a welcome change from the ubiquitous red oaks and Liquidambars which keep popping up all over Manchester. The planting in the raised Mediterranean garden beds outside MMU Birley Fields would be a good example for the shrub and perennial planting.

By Quality needed

Heather – pipe down. New York has other parks, obviously, most notably Central Park. This area is not huge – we should be grateful for every extra square inch the developer has allocated. There will be cafes in the new street forming part of the development if people really need a coffee to keep them awake.

It’ll be one small ‘park’ in a city centre with maybe two other green spaces… I think it’ll be busy enough without the extra cafe.

By Spock

As you said heather, four or five around the edge, this is a small space that will have about 8-10 bars/cafes/restaurants around it. (it already has 4!)

I will be really grateful for this space and doesnt need a cafe in the middle of it.

By .

I went to the public consultation last night & I’m so excited to see this scheme get underway. It’s a fantastic area of the city that is definitely in need of some attention & regeration. The warehouse will benefit hugely from the revamp & I’m really looking forward to the NY style highline that is being created at the rear!

By DxH

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