Echo Street From Piccadilly

Vinci picked for Echo Street towers

Charlie Schouten

IQ Student Accommodation’s Echo Street project in Manchester, featuring towers of 25, 20, and 14 storeys, is set to start in May 2019 with Vinci set to be confirmed as main contractor, Place North West understands.

The scheme, which includes nearly 500 co-living units, received planning consent in June this year with developer IQ citing a spring 2019 start date.

The developer is now understood to have selected Vinci as its preferred contractor for the scheme, ahead of rival bidder Kier, and main works are due to start in May next year following the demolition of the existing Chandos House. Designs are understood to be at RIBA stage four.

The first stage of demolition work on the site has already begun and is being carried out by subcontractor Connell Brothers; Chandos House is expected to be fully demolished by early next year with site clearance following soon after.

Designed by architect Sheppard Robson, the development features bedrooms aimed at graduates and young professionals; of these 94 units are proposed to be for students, which will provide 242 bed spaces in a mix of cluster accommodation and studio flats.

Private apartments will range in size between studio and four-bed apartments, and they will be operated on a private-rented model. Rent for apartments will be all-inclusive, covering council tax, internet, utilities, and cleaning; while a deposit of a week’s rent will be required to secure a home.

Alongside this there will be amenity spaces, work areas, lounges, and a gym. There is also a nursery planned for the ground floor.

The towers are stepped in height and clad with red-and-purple brick, changed from an initial iteration revealed last year that showed a metal façade. Granby Row is to be narrowed and re-aligned to create a “more attractive” pedestrian environment while there are also plans to have a food and beverage unit facing Vimto Gardens.

IQ Student Accommodation is backed by Goldman Sachs, Greystar, and the Wellcome Trust. The professional team on the project includes Turley as planner; Vectos as transport consultant; and Cundall as building services consultant.

Other projects Vinci is delivering in Manchester include the £75m Owen Park development for the University of Manchester, where the contractor replaced Carillion, and the £74m extension of the Trafford Centre.

Vinci and IQ Student Accommodation were both approached for comment.

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Yet another ugly, unnecessarily tall block, dominating everything around, the wonderful former London Road Fire Station and the superb Manchester University Science and Technology Block on Whitworth Street. By all means build on the site, but not so high.

By Roy G Chapman

Vinci and Kier as the bidders…dear me…the developers cup really does overfloweth…

By Donald Larssen

How does this get planning? Note to self, don’t use Sheppard Robson if I ever decide to become a property developer. Actually, maybe I should, more profit?

By Jason

Higher, higher! Uglier, uglier!

IMO buildings in Manchester aren’t being built high enough or ugly enough. More height and ugliness please – must try harder!

By Beanstalk


By .

Like the design, certainly an improvement on the weather worn 1960’s concrete monstrosity currently there. I also like the flexibility and inclusiveness of the tenancy arrangement. My only gripe is that there should be bespoke high rise accomodation for KEY WORKERS ie. Construction Workers, Project Managers, Quantity Surveyers etc. who are working in Manchester/Salford in their thousands, plus people employed on fixed-term contracts, people who work in Manchester for part of the week or periodically, Locum professionals working in the NHS etc.etc. who would all benefit from this flexibility in an ideal location next to the main Train Station.

By Bilderburg Attendee

The original gold facade was much preferred!

By Steve