The developer has rejigged the project team

Wittington takes fresh run at Princess Street revamp 

Dan Whelan

Having withdrawn similar proposals last year, the developer has lodged plans to refurbish the upper floors of a pair of derelict buildings in Manchester and create 75,000 sq ft of offices. 

Wittington Investments’ proposals also feature a 16,500 sq ft gym across two basement levels. 

The development site, 40-46 Princess Street, comprises two listed, six-storey properties, Eastern House and Langley Buildings. 

The buildings previously housed a nightclub at the basement levels, restaurants at ground floor level, and small suite office accommodation managed by Citibase on the five upper floors. 

However, the properties are now vacant. 

In 2017, Wittington won approval to refurbish the buildings to create modern office accommodation but withdrew the plans last July.  

At the time, chief executive of Wittington’s property division Kevin Boylan said the firm planned to rethink its approach to the project in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Wittington subsequently rejigged the project team for the scheme. Zerum was replaced by Paul Butler Associates as planning consultant and Bridge Architects took over from Ipswich-based Engine Room. 

Now that revised proposals have been submitted to Manchester City Council, the project is forecasted to begin on site in September, subject to planning approval.

The refurbishment of the 90,000 sq ft buildings, to be carried out by contractor CubicWorks, is expected to take a year. 

The project team for Princess Street also includes: 

In4m – project manager  

Curtins – structural engineer  

Crookes Walker Consulting – M&E advisor  

BB Heritage Studio – heritage consultant   

Walker Sime – cost consultants  

Design Fire Consultants – fire consultants 

Sandy Brown – acoustic consultant 

Stroma – approved inspectors 

Rider Levitt Bucknall – principal designer 

Gerald Honey Partnership – lift consultant

Wittington, a privately owned investment company, is 79.2% owned by the Garfield Weston Foundation. Elsewhere in Manchester the firm owns the Express Building on Great Ancoats Street, and No1 Balloon Street. 

 

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There’s a lot of dereliction around Portland Street nowadays, sign of the times?

By YS

Looks great. Lot of investment in the older buildings around here so it only adds to the character rather than just building new.

By Anonymous