Thomas Street Real Estate Investments
Jon Matthews Architects designed the scheme

Warp & Weft saga continues

Dan Whelan

The story of a proposed development in Manchester’s Northern Quarter has taken another turn with developer, Real Estate Investment Partnerships, submitting an application for the demolition of listed buildings on Thomas Street.

Approval for the five-storey apartment block, which would provide 20 residential units, was granted in August 2017. A year later Historic England granted part of the site, 42-46 Thomas Street, grade two-listed status after an application from an anonymous individual.

This caused the development to stall with Simon Gallanders, director of Real Estate Investment Partnerships, describing the situation at the time as “bleak”. At the time the heritage listing was made Real Estate Investment Partnerships was in talks with a number of contractors about delivering the project.

Now a listed building application by Real Estate Investment Partnerships for the demolition of the former weaver’s houses could reignite the project. The move could provoke objections from Historic England and local residents.

A spokesperson for Historic England, said: “42-46 Thomas Street, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter was grade two listed in 2018 on account of the buildings’ national historic and architectural value. They provide unique physical evidence of the small-scale individual enterprises that formed the origins of industry in Manchester.

“Each application will be assessed on its own merits, but where possible, we encourage the retention and reuse of historic buildings, as successfully integrating older structures into new developments can significantly contribute to the character of an area.

“It will be for the council to decide whether the public benefits of the plans outweigh any harm identified as being caused to the historic environment.”

Warp And Weft Thomas Strret

Credit: Thomas Ryder. Development site after demolition of unsafe buildings; listed buildings are to the right

Known as Warp & Weft the proposed development would include plans for a restaurant and retail units across 9,000 sq ft of ground level floor space.

The site includes 50-48 Thomas Street; buildings which occupied this part of the site were classified as unsafe and demolished in 2017 as part of the same development.

The project would also include the redevelopment of a property on Kelvin Street to the rear of the plot.

The professional team is made up of Jon Matthews Architects, Renaissance, WSP | Indigo WECE and SLHA

On a neighbouring site, plans for a 26-bedroom hotel, submitted by Agecroft Investment Company and designed by GA Studio, were approved in July 2019.

This project also sparked controversy among residents due to the demolition of vacant retail units.

Thomas Street Real Estate Investment 2

Your Comments

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Proposal is far better than what is there now, which is a total eyesore. Get it built!

By Anonymous

I think the proposed scheme looks really good, and justifies the demolition of the listed buildings.

By ALL

The site currently looks like a bombed out dump.
Fair play to those who seek to invest in this (currently) bleak area.

By GetReal

The new build element is ok but it is no excuse to demolish a really rare GII Building. Incorporate it or face the wrath of residents.

By Acelius

It looks great and the site is an eyesore and a mess, with little left of the original buildings (which are nothing special)

Get it approved and built ASAP – it is needed

By Dan

such a shame that urban splash or capital&centric aren’t the developer, they’d restore them and make them amazing, the design of the new buildings are nice but not to the point it justifies the loss of heritage,

By dave lynch

The proposal is great. Historic England are totally in the wrong here and harming the fabric of this area, they need to step back. The current place is a mess – its not edgy or cool, just gross.

By XY

How fitting !!!!

By Anonymous

Had the pleasure of being shown round the basement of the old Shopfittings business, which was used as an air raid shelter during the war by the occupants of Smithfields Market on High Street. It’s been preserved really well and shoudl continue to be protected.
Fight this development all the way I say. The Grade II listing is there for a reason.

By Steve

Get it built. Its called progress!

By Anonymous

@Acelius – are the wrathful residents (many of whom are spongers) willing to invest in these rare listed buildings? Thought not.

By GetReal

This is what new builds in Manchester should look more like rather than the Benedorm types which are plaguing the northern cities.

By L

Walk past this every day. Utter dump atm. Get it pulled down and the new one built. Looks brilliant. NQ needs more development its a crime and pot hole ridden mess currently.

By Bob

Oh dear

By Jesus Weft

I am a long term resident of the NQ and wish they would knock this down and get on with it

By SB

Have a small fire on a Friday. 6am Saturday get a digger to pull it down… Say you called the council but no one was working weekend and that you had to make it safe . What’s the worst they can do…

By Getitdone

Proposal needs more cycle lanes

By Disgruntled Goat

The building should never have been listed. The proposals look great and all it’s done is left part of Manchester in a state of disrepair. Hopefully this well designed development proceeds soon.

By Mr Manchester

I can’t believe this saga is still ongoing. It makes no sense for Historic England to be stalling this development, for the sake of, what are basically, a small fraction of the original buildings, which are in a dilapidated state which is both an eyesore and a health and safety issue. Common sense must surely prevail and allow the developer to get on with the task of rejuvenating this ‘bleak’ area. Enough is enough.

By Sam Twochops.

Northern Quarter is a poor man’s version of the Ropewalks, why can’t MCC get these things right?

By Moz

Will be glad to see this pushed forward as the whole of Thomas Street looks dilapidated. I think the building has been sympathetic to the street but would’ve liked to have seen the exterior to be brickwork consistent with those properties adjacent.

Nothing screams more Manchester than dirty bricks…

By Giraffe

Great looking scheme which should get built.

By Monty

Another redbrick building gone to be replaced by black brick?!?!

By Anonymous

I’m not against development and the designs look good but there is a real danger that the essence of what made the Northern Quarter so popular is being completely sterilised, particularly along Thomas Street.

By Anonymous