Stockport steps up efforts to sell Ritz site

An 87-space surface car park in Stockport town centre, with council support for residential development, is to be marketed by CBRE’S Manchester development team.

The site, between Piccadilly and Fletcher Street, lies close to two other town centre development sites in Regal House and Greendale House. The sale of the 0.67-acre site, which formerly housed the Ritz cinema and had been destined for hotel development until the 2008 recession, was approved by Stockport’s cabinet in May.

CBRE said that the site could house residential, mixed use or specialist residential development. The land is owned by Stockport Council and can be acquired on a development lease or other suitable mechanism.

The council’s preferred method is a development lease, which it feels would give it an element of control over the site, while incentivising a potential developer to make progress without major upfront investment.

The site is bound to the north west by Fletcher Street car park. Stockport Village Nursery is located to the east of the site, and a number of commercial buildings and associated car parking are located to the south.

Stockport is pressing ahead with a major brownfield development plan, announcing in April that it had earmarked sites with the potential for 3,000 town centre homes in what has long been regarded as an under-invested central conurbation. In addition, plans for a substantial overhaul of the town’s transport interchange have since come forward.

John Dunlop, director in CBRE’s development team, said: “Stockport Council is promoting the town as the place to live, work, play, connect and invest and its excellent location, coupled with the council’s support, will appeal to developers across the region.”

Cllr Kate Butler, Stockport Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “Developing a quality residential offer in the heart of our town is central to our vision for Stockport to become a leading town centre living location.

“The council is leading this investment with its partners and this site provides a fantastic opportunity for developers and investors to be a part of Stockport’s bright future.”

Initial bids are to be submitted by close of business on 31 July 2018, with the second stage submission anticipated by 20 September. A final decision will be made by the end of October.

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Potential to do something (very) high (by Stockport town centre standards and viability allowing) I’d have thought – given topography and height of buildings to west and south.

By the light of the moon

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