Ask View To Manchester Central Beetham
View of Ask's proposals from Barbirolli Square

Sister tower for Beetham planned at Manchester Central

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Ask Real Estate is targeting a February submission for its planning application for the former Bauer Millett showroom site next to Manchester Central, which includes proposals for a 40-storey residential tower and a 14-storey office.

Ask and its joint shareholder Carillion bought the 1.74-acre plot at the base of Beetham Tower at the start of 2016, and has spent the last year working up £300m plans, dusting off designs by SimpsonHaugh & Partners for a 750,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme first announced in 2010.

The strategy for the site places an emphasis on improving pedestrian access from the Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink stop into the city centre, and constructing a cluster of buildings to complement the 47-storey Beetham Tower.

The residential building is earmarked for next to Beetham, and is made up of 350 apartments in a mix of one, two- and three-bedrooms. The flats are being designed with the private rented sector in mind, however the final tenure is yet to be decided, and they could be available for sale.

Ask Manchester Central East Along Watson Street

View of the residential tower east along Watson Street

The office is set to be built with an entrance off Albion Street, with a corner of the structure overhanging the tram line as it turns from Deansgate-Castlefield towards the city centre. The block will total 240,000 sq ft.

Both buildings will sit on top of a podium, enclosing the current service yard for Manchester Central which needs to remain operational. On top of the podium between the office and apartment block, there will be private green space for use by residents and office tenants.

There will be 8,000 sq ft of retail space delivered under the arches along Albion Street.

A new area of public realm is included in the plans, around the Deangsate-Castlefield tram stop and running towards Watson Street. The style of the public realm is intended to be consistent with the planting and materials recently installed at Deansgate-Castlefield.

When plans for the site were first mooted prior to the recession, a ‘sky park’ was included, which would have seen the podium built out over the tram stop towards Deansgate Locks. However, according to Ask, this proposal is no longer considered viable due to the extent that the build would disrupt the tenants within the Deansgate Locks units, and the structural interventions required along the canal.

Under the new proposals, the Metrolink line is expected to remain open during construction.

Planit-IE is advising on the landscaping; Curtins is the engineer.

A consultation into a joint strategic regeneration framework with Great Northern ended on 23 December, and the masterplan is due to return to Manchester City Council’s executive for consideration in February.

 

Ask Manchester Central East Along Great Bridgewater Street

View east along Great Bridgewater Street

Your Comments

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Does this project have a timeline for construction?

By AWS

Wow, excellent designs, it will be exciting to see a cluster form. I like that the developer is creating retail space in the arches as well.

By tofu

Where is all this money coming from being invested in Manchester and Salford? Every day there appears to be another Skyscraper announced on both sides of the Irwell. The design for this is great having said that.

By Elephant

If it’s a sister tower to Beetham will she hum at a slightly higher pitch than her brother?

By Gene Walker

Shalom/Salaam Elephant•••••I’m pleased you mention Manchester & Salford in one sentence because they should amalgamate in to one city with a population of around 800,000. I reckon that once the developments around the Lowry Hotel & Exchange Court are completed, around 5,000 Salford City residents will be living in Manchester City centre (the area within the inner ring road). Plus,,,Manchester is always marketing Media City, The Imperial War Museum etc internationally as being in Manchester. Fact is Elephant, Manchester – Salford ‘s population is growing faster than anywhere else outside London and residential and commercial developments are not viewed as speculative, risky investments anymore by the monetary movers & shakers. I do love Simpson Haugh ‘s developments. Clean, post modernist designs with beautiful different shades of glass panelling AND they are all weather resistant , which cannot be said for the filthy ugly 1950’s – 1970’s Brutalist buildings dotted around the city centre like the Renaissance Hotel on Deansgate, Albert Bridge House, Peter House, Arndale Tower ETC.

By Anthony Fallon

Really impressive designs – and forming a cluster around the Beetham Tower is just whats needed.

By JG

@Anthony Fallon….Why merge the TWO when we now have the GREATER MANCHESTER COMBINED AUTHORITY and soon a Metro Mayor..?

By Schwyz

Anthony Fallon.I rather like Albert Bridge house,but I do hate the Ramada Renaissance. That really is the biggest slum in the city centre.Why was that not bulldozed decades ago.I agree with Schywz about the amalgamated county.There is no room for parochialism now.We need to be a city state of nearly three million people.Drop the Greater.Nobody calls London greater.We will soon have a new mayor and the sort of devolution the rest of England can only dream about.I read somewhere that if we were classed as a city and not a Metropolitan county, we would be the largest non-capital city in Europe,about the same size as Rome?

By Elephant

Ask / Carillion – the same dream team that delivered First Street. Best lower your expectations.

By Value engineered

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