Echo Street Side View Sheppard Robson

Metal facade revealed in August has now been removed...

Two weeks left to give views on Echo Street co-living proposals

The team behind plans for 900-bedroom student and graduate co-living scheme in Manchester city centre is expecting to submit a planning application by the end of September.

Earlier this month, IQ Student Accommodation, backed by the Wellcome Trust, Goldman Sachs and Greystar, revealed plans for a large-scale residential scheme targeted at young occupiers, next to Vimto Park and the train line into Manchester’s Piccadilly station.

Designed by Sheppard Robson, the three-block scheme would replace the existing Chandos house student accommodation building with 643 bedrooms aimed at recent graduates and young professionals, alongside 242 rooms for university students.

Echo Street Aerial Sheppard Robson

The Echo Street development, described as “the UK’s first ‘co-living’ scheme”, would include fully furnished apartments, amenity spaces, work areas, lounges and a gym.

The three buildings are staggered in height from 12 to 24 storeys.

IQSA is yet to confirm its rent prices, but said it has considered average salaries for graduates in Manchester and across the UK more broadly, and is confident that the part of the scheme targeted at recent graduates will have a lower cost than that of the wider private rental market.

A public consultation event was held yesterday. An online consultation will continue to run until 7 September, at

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Look at some of the US college new builds and you’ll see that they are often in keeping with their surroundings. Why can’t they build something similar to what’s their already.

This proposal is so out of place, could you imagine Oxford or Cambridge allowing something like this?! If the University of Manchester wants to have a world class reputation then its buildings need to be world class as well. This smacks of cheap, metropolitan university rubbish imo.

By The Squirrel's Nuts

What does this add to Manchester? It’s going to be a city stuffed with soulless boxes… what morsels of attractive built environment that exists already (e.g. St Peters Square) spread ever more thinly to serve a burgeoning population.

Surely Manchester’s revival has reached a point where we can demand quality, instead of cheap and nasty tat like this.

By Spock

Squirrels Nuts – re-read the article, this building isn’t the University’s.

By Tom

Awful, lazy design. Most of the flats have a direct view of another flat. Why did architects in the 1960s manage to give all the UMIST student bedrooms decent views but this is what passes for living accommodation today? All these speculative developments are just milking young people for all they’re worth, glossing it up with gyms and other guff. It’s about as sustainable as a Texan in a Humvee.

By Jonty

Tom – I see, thanks for pointing that out. I skimmed over it and just assumed that being a student building it was the university’s property. I do think the point still stands though.

Why not some traditional architecture to fit with the other university buildings? Beggars can’t be choosers of course but Manchester doesn’t have to beg at present. It should demand higher quality schemes, and although this proposal is of better quality than some around the city, the setting demands more imo.

By The Squirrel's Nuts

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