Realty lays out plans for Oxford Road first phase

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Developer Realty Estates is preparing a plan for the first phase of development at the former BBC Oxford Road site in Manchester for consultation at the end of the summer, with a mix of office, retail, leisure and residential.

The proposal includes up to 150,000 sq ft of offices over two blocks and 350 residential flats over a further two buildings. There is 20,000 sq ft of retail space allocated on the ground floors.

Realty Estates stressed that it was aiming to secure a pre-let occupier for the offices before commencement of the development, and that overall viability was the main focus as the scheme is progressed.

Speaking to Place North West, Yousef Tishbi, chief executive of Realty Estates, said: "We will not build anything without finding out what appetite is there for it in the market. The office design and details can change according to the need of the final occupier."

Realty Estates said that it was in talks with private rented sector investors in regard to the residential scheme, alongside prominent retail occupiers for the ground floor units.

The next stage of development of the site will begin once the first phase is committed. Depending on demand, the construction could be spread over five or more phases.

Realty Estates bought New Broadcasting House from the BBC in 2011 and the 5.4-acre plot was vacated with all buildings later demolished when the BBC moved to MediaCityUK.

A strategic regeneration framework for the site, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and prepared by Deloitte, was approved last year by the council to guide the regeneration over the next 10 to 15 years.

Last month, a team for the project was announced, which comprised of architect AHR, HOW Planning, quantity surveyor and project manager Gardiner & Theobald, retail agent Cheetham & Mortimer, marketing agency 90 Degrees and residential development advisor Savills. Peter Skelton, development advisor at WHR, will continue to oversee the project.

Plans are expected to be finalised in mid-August, before a consultation with Manchester City Council and market testing for the residential and office blocks. Detailed images will then be worked up to reflect the later interest on the site.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Because of course that area doesn’t have enough vague “office, retail, leisure and residential”… So maybe some flats and offices plus a(nother) Tesco Metro and a Subway? They should turn it into a park. That would be cool but it’ll never happen because there’s no profit.

The Cornerhouse will probably go the same way too.

By James