Sheppard Robson is the architect for the Manchester city centre scheme

Vinci starts on Muse’s New Victoria  

Dan Whelan

The £130m residential element of Muse Developments’ New Victoria, comprising 520 apartments across two towers of 20 and 25 storeys, is scheduled to complete in 2024.  

Place North West reported in June that Vinci Contraction had been appointed as lead contractor on the scheme in Manchester. It has now started work on site. 

Situated on Corporation Street near Victoria Station, the 450,000 sq ft residential component of New Victoria, for which plans were lodged in May 2016, is being funded by Pension Insurance Corporation. 

The funding deal, struck in early September, is “the largest build-to-rent-led forward funding transaction inside and outside of London”, according to Muse’s development director David Burkinshaw. 

The project will include 178 one-bed, 286 two-bed and 56 three-bed apartments, as well as 6,000 sq ft of commercial space. 

The build-to-rent scheme is part of Muse’s wider £185m mixed-use project that also includes an eight-storey, 150,000 sq ft office block. 

Sheppard Robson is the scheme’s architect, with the professional team also including Deloitte Real Estate, Walker Sime, Arup, Chroma Consulting, and Planit-IE.  

Muse’s delivery partners on New Victoria are Network Rail and Manchester City Council. 

Garry Bowker, regional director at Vinci Construction UK, said: “It’s been a great team effort throughout the pre-construction stage to finalise the design, agree the contract and secure the project start date.  

“This will be a high-profile project on a prominent site in Manchester city centre and will significantly increase Vinci Construction UK’s profile in the Manchester market.” 

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With people deserting standard offices this is an opportunity to make the city centre nicer and attract reisdents who want to live here because it’s nice not just because they work here. Co-working spaces could prove popular with those working from home.

By Dan

But who will live in them? People want family homes with gardens.

By Liverpool Utopia

Glad its finally starting and will be even more glad when the development blocks out the majority of that ugly roof on Victoria Station

By Steve

@Dan, well, considering that the countries which have very low COVID cases (like Australia, New Zealand and Japan) have recorded an over 90% return back to offices, plus evidence elsewhere, it seems unlikely that WFH will actually be a thing for the majority of office workers – especially with some LDN businesses seeing such a drop in efficiency, they were willing to offer a staggering £70 per day incentive to attract people back into the office.

Secondly, why would people chose to live in the small city apartment blocks where they have to work from home, with no outdoor space and no office nearby that saves a commute, when they could choose a larger home in the suburbs with a garden. After all, the whole advantage of living in the city centre was that everything, especially work, was right at their doorstep.

Businesses are already suffering from the lack of office workers and closing, so this will make the city center even less attractive to live if most people work from home.

Plus, since most other countries have been seeing a return back to the office (Germany, Italy, France and Spain recorded between 70-85% even with COVID still a risk), it is likely their city centres would prosper after COVID. If the UK cities remained dead in the city centre, there would be even less incentive to visit. Who would chose to visit a dead Manchester, when Berlin, Paris, Barcelona etc are all bustling and full of bars, cafes, restaurants, galleries, museums and theatre because the city centres retained their office workers – further causing economic hardship in our town centres.

Even in the UK, which had the slowest return to offices in the developed world (probably due to having the worst transport options to commute to said offices), still reached 62% before the latest COVID increases.

By EOD

@Liverpool Utopia. Think about this for a second and the answer will come. It’s not rocket science. Ask yourself why inner city living is popular in pretty much every city in the world. If it helps, I’ll outline some.

City centre living offers people who value the following compared to living in a dead, quiet suburb:
* Easy walk to their place of work (no commuting hassles – this is huge)
* Easy walk to the largest retail centre in the region (which they can do after work or even in their lunch break)
* Easy walk to the largest collection of pubs in the region
* Easy walk to the largest collection of cafes in the region
* Easy walk to the largest collection of restaurants in the region
* Easy walk to the largest collection of art galleries in the region
* Easy walk to the largest collection of music venues and clubs in the region
* Easy walk to the largest collection of theatres and cinemas in the region
* Easy walk to the largest collection of museums in the region
* Easy walk to the largest best transportation in the region

I could go on. But perhaps you get the idea here. What you will find, is that many people like the city life and like to go out and to avoid all the hassle of commuting, they like to have everything at their doorstep. This is especially useful for people who work in the city as they can do everything they need by foot. And that garden? Yeah, it’s nice, but people who do all of the above… well to them their garden is the entire city centre.

What you find here is something quite special… it’s people with a different lifestyle to your own. That’s actually ok, and these people exist. Not everyone values the same things you do. It’s so great to live in a world with diversity. It’s even greater when one appreciates that diversity

By EOD

Liverpool Utopia – not everyone wants a suburban home with a garden. Personally I couldn’t think of anything worse than living on a drab housing estate with an identical house to everyone else, having to drive to get anywhere. I want fun in the city, not a slow death in the suburbs.

By Anonymous

A brilliant idea
Build to rent very common in Florida and very successful when done on a grand scale
Essential to have eateries hairdressers etc on site

By joe shaoul

@Liverpool Utopia, I’m sure you comment on all apartment schemes in Manchester saying the same thing. Not everybody has a family, nor your narrowmindedness.

Nevertheless another uninspired Excel spreadsheet scheme which adds nothing to the city, but pads the pockets of the very wealthy.

By Anonymous

@Liverpool Utopia – YOU want a family home with a garden, doesn’t mean everyone else does

By Bradford

Liverpool Utopia otherwise known as Liverpool Romance often comments on these boards but does tend to post contradictory comments on apartment buildings in particular depending rather more on where they are rather than what they are.

By NWman

I’m a proper Manc but agree with Liverpool Utopia.
A lot of my friends are agents and they are struggling to sell apartments unless they have outside space (and by outside space, I don’t mean somewhere to put a bistro set on but an actual terrace).
Sure there will be some demand but a lot of the new schemes are really under occupied. There is hardly anyone living in Angel Gardens, much of Axis appears to be unsold and there are various block on Gt. Ancoats which are not at 100% capacity.

By Observer