IQ Student Accommodation, backed by the Wellcome Trust, Goldman Sachs and Greystar, has revealed plans for a large-scale residential scheme targeted at young occupiers, next to Vimto Park and the train line into Manchester’s Piccadilly station.
Designed by Sheppard Robson, the three-block scheme would replace the existing Chandos house student accommodation building with 643 bedrooms aimed at recent graduates and young professionals, alongside 242 rooms for university students.
The Echo Street development, described as “the UK’s first ‘co-living’ scheme”, would include fully furnished apartments, amenity spaces, work areas, lounges and a gym.
The three buildings are staggered in height from 12 to 24 storeys.
Rob Roger, chief executive of IQSA, said: “We are pleased to be proposing this landmark scheme, a first of its kind outside London which aims to become a new solution for graduates and urban professionals who want to live in the heart of the city. We believe developments like Echo Street will help to retain talent and attract young professionals, further supporting the major growth that this vibrant city is experiencing. As the size and demand of the rental population in Manchester has grown, average rents have risen steeply, making it harder for young people who contribute so much to the city to live centrally. This development is addressing a real need.”
While IQSA said it was too early in the development process to comment on rent prices, it said it has considered average salaries for graduates in Manchester and across the UK more broadly, and is confident that the part of the scheme targeted at recent graduates will have a lower cost than that of the private rental market. The aim is for a planning application to be submitted to Manchester City Council later in the year.
More details are yet to emerge around the plans, although a public consultation is due to open on 24 August and run until 7 September. IQSA is inviting local residents and interested parties to see the proposals for the first time on 24 August at Fairfield House on Back Acton Street. The event will take place between 3.30pm to 7.30pm.
For those unable to attend, the plans will be available to view on www.echostreetconsultation.co.uk.