Plans have been revealed for an extension of the St John’s masterplan, stretching the development area towards Beetham tower and bringing Allied London chief Mike Ingall’s vision for an arc of activity from London Road to the former ITV Granada site closer to fruition.
Ingall first hinted about his idea for “a spine of experience, art and culture” along Whitworth Street from the Allied London-owned Fire Station to the £1bn St John’s neighbourhood at MIPIM earlier this year.
According to a report put before Manchester City Council’s executive, St John’s strategic regeneration framework will extend to Liverpool Road and absorb the Museum of Science & Industry complex, Upper Campfield Market, Lower Campfield Market and Castlefield House.
The council formed a joint venture with Allied London, called Manchester Quays Ltd, to deliver the 13-acre St John’s neighbourhood. St John’s is set to include a tower cluster containing 2,500 homes, 600,000 sq ft of commercial space and cultural facilities centred around the £110m Factory. The council also owns the MOSI estate, including the two listed Campfield Market warehouses.
The Campfield buildings sit either side of the 32,000 sq ft office building, Castlefield House, which Allied London acquired from Property Alliance Group to complete its holdings in the area.
According to the new regeneration framework, Lower Campfield Market, which is currently used as MOSI’s air and space gallery, would be reworked to create a multi-use space, incorporating events and flexible work areas, still centred around the MOSI collection. The main MOSI site over the road will continue as a science museum and further refurbishment plans are being considered.
Upper Campfield Market is vacant, and the council has faced pressure from the public to bring the building back into use. Manchester Quays has worked up a concept proposal for the space, named in the report as Union City, “a free flowing, visually and culturally interesting space that will integrate some of the region’s most talented and ambitious operators, and curate a space for culinary experience, innovation and enterprise”.
At the same executive meeting, which is due to be held on 27 July, the council will discuss an update to the Water Street framework, which encompasses a 4.6-acre plot to the western end of Liverpool Road. The council has earmarked the site for up to 900 homes, but has also included the provision of 750 parking spaces “to service St John’s”, alongside another 300 for residents.
The expansion of St John’s will bring the regeneration area nearer to other major development sites at the southern end of Deansgate, including the 20-acre First Street, which includes the HOME cultural venue, offices, restaurants, and 600 planned PRS apartments. It also brings the scheme close to Ask Real Estate and Carillion’s proposed £300m mixed-use redevelopment around Beetham tower, Manchester Central and Deansgate-Castlefield interchange.