Urban & Civic has revised its proposals for the development of the former Origin site in Manchester city centre, removing the hotel element after being unable to secure a four-star operator, and adapting the materials due to cost.
The scheme on the corner of Whitworth Street and Princess Street was granted planning permission in January, for 240 flats across two buildings, and a hotel designed by SimpsonHaugh & Partners.
According to the new application, the hotel will be replaced with another apartment block, made up of 111 flats, bringing the total number of units on the site to 351. The apartments are all intended for sale. There will also be 254 parking spaces on site over a four-level basement car park.
The new plans also detail changes to the building materials, with the terracotta façade being replaced with brick.
Urban & Civic previously said it intended to start construction by spring 2016, but there was no movement on site, amidst rumours that the project had come up against cost issues in regard to construction.
According to Adam Brooks, senior project manager at Urban & Civic, while the developer had been targeting a high-end operator for the Whitworth Street hotel, it had not received a “commercially viable” proposal, and felt that budget operators were not appropriate for the site.
In regards to the façade, Brooks said that the approved terracotta had “proved expensive”, and required a costly construction technique to hold the weight and enable adequate soundproofing. Following revisions, he said that the new brick material, while cheaper, was popular with the city council and more in keeping with the style of the area.
Urban & Civic is working with preferred contractor Carillion. Brooks said that the developer now intends to be on site in March with a 26-week programme of works on the basement of the buildings.
The main works are yet to be tendered, but following the confirmation of the contractor, the full project could begin in June.
The one-acre former Origin site was sold to Urban & Civic in 2014, as part of a portfolio previously owned by developer Donal Mulryan’s company West Properties.