Capital & Centric and Native’s overhaul of the former Place Aparthotel into London Warehouse, a 166-bedroom hotel with fine dining and coworking uses amongst others on the ground floor, is well under way, with the first phases due to open in November. [GALLERY]
The redbrick warehouse near Piccadilly station was sold for around £20m by Goldman Sachs to Manchester-based developer Capital & Centric, backed by Ares Investment Management, in 2016. Native, a hotel and PRS operator, will be responsible for long-term management of the building, and is partnering with C&C on bring forward the project.
Since the acquisition, Manchester City Council granted planning consent to the refurbishment, and Styles & Wood has been on-site stripping and refitting the building.
Speaking with Guy Nixon, chief executive of Native, and Adam Higgins, co-founder of C&C, both were keen to stress the importance of returning the 1860s warehouse back to its original splendor, taking out some of the modern interventions put in by earlier owner Opal Property.
Aside from changing the name, the partnership is renovating the inner atrium, retaining key features in all the bedrooms, and installing ground floor uses to drive more footfall to what is a significant, but often forgotten historic building in Manchester.
Working with architect David Archer of Archer Humphryes, the hotel capacity has been expanded from 108 apartments to 166, largely one-bedroom but including duplex apartments.
A flower shop, fitness studio and accompanying café, coworking offices, mini cinema, bar and fine dining restaurant, and reception will be located on the ground floor. Discussions are under way with various operators, although the restaurant is understood to be high-end London brand Bistrotheque.
According to Nixon, the vision for the ground floor has drawn inspiration from buildings such as The Ned, a five-star hotel in London which features nine restaurants and bars within an elegantly restored former banking hall.
“We want it to have the feeling of a private member’s club, but open to everyone”, said Nixon, avoiding any feelings of exclusivity.
Activating the space is what would set the hotel aside from others in the city, according to Higgins.
“Other upmarket hotels in Manchester are essentially dead zones when people aren’t staying there. We want to create a space which the public will use and enjoy, and it then also makes them want to stay there more. 99% of the people using it won’t be tenants.”
The project is set for a two phase completion, in November for the aparthotel, café and restaurant, then January for the fitness studio and cinema.
London Warehouse is one of many former warehouse schemes being delivered by Capital & Centric in Manchester, including Talbot Mill and Crusader.
Native is also set to be the operator of the PRS element of Kampus, the £150m project under construction across Manchester, being delivered by Capital & Centric and Henry Boot, funded by Ares.
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