Richard Upton, Matthew Weiner And James Heather U+I
From left: Richard Upton, Matthew Weiner and James Heather of U+I

U+I ‘actively seeking further development opportunities in Manchester’

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

At the colourful launch of its new office, the Mayfield developer said it was on the look-out for more sites in the city, with “more than £100m to spend on office repositioning” according to deputy chief executive Richard Upton.

U+I has established its new office in the Mayfield Depot courtyard, where it will lead the £850m project to transform an underused 24-acre site next to Piccadilly Station into a new city district.

Speaking to an audience of agents, advisors, and senior local authority representatives last night, chief executive Matthew Weiner said the developer was “open for business, and want to do more developments and investments in Manchester, where we see huge growth”.

Upton gave an overview of U+I’s approach to development, but challenged listeners: “The property industry needs to work an awful lot harder. It doesn’t achieve a lot as a whole, and we intend to drive it forwards. If you develop badly, it lasts just as long and takes just as much effort as if you develop well.”

He said U+I was “seeking sites” with mid- to long-term development potential, and was keen to emulate recent successes such as the refurbishment of 80,000 sq ft of studio space in EMI’s former factory in Hayes, west London, into offices.

U+I was created in 2014 through the merger of listed property development and investment company Development Securities with regeneration specialist Cathedral Group.

The business has a £6bn development pipeline of mixed-use regeneration projects and a £200m investment portfolio.

The Manchester office is headed by development director James Heather, who joined in March. Heather previously worked with developer Argent for 17 years, where he was instrumental in the delivery of One St Peter’s Square in Manchester city centre.

The company was formally appointed as the development partner for Mayfield last December, working with Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and London & Continental Railways, a Government agency for owning former rail land.

The long-term vision for Mayfield includes 1,300 homes, 805,500 sq ft of offices, a 350-bedroom hotel, retail, leisure and a new city park.

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24 acres next to Piccadilly. How has that been left empty for so long.

By .

It is not right to wear a suit jacket and shirt and tie with jeans! that chap on the left looks like the arcade game from my childhood where ballerina’s legs would stop with the builders body!

By Russell Bolton