U+I Mayfield victory confirmed

London-based developer U+I has been confirmed as the winner of the £850m development contest to revive the 24-acre Mayfield area on the edge of Manchester city centre.

Mayfield Partnership, comprising London & Continental Railways, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, advised by JLL, confirmed “U+I was selected from a shortlist of three strong bidders which also included Urban & Civic and a consortium formed by Carillion, Ask and Patrizia.”

The partnership said: “There was firm consensus amongst the partnership that U+I’s bid successfully captured the vision for the site, set out in the Mayfield Strategic Regeneration Framework, for Mayfield to become a distinctive new high quality urban neighbourhood and a gateway into Manchester city centre.”

U+I has an office in Manchester with a team led by Guy Illingworth, formerly of Northpoint Developments. Its team has previously worked on several projects in the city, including the Manchester Arena and is currently delivering Axis Tower alongside Property Alliance Group.

Matthew Weiner, chief executive of U+I, said: “We couldn’t be more excited to have been selected and look forward to working with the Mayfield Partnership to deliver an iconic, generational project. U+I has built a successful track record working alongside public sector bodies to deliver innovative and award-winning schemes. We have the skills and the creative vision to deliver a project of which Manchester can be proud and which will further support the city’s position on the world stage as a centre of enterprise, tourism, culture and socio-economic growth. We are passionate about Manchester, and we are passionate about transforming a place with a proud industrial heritage into a 21st Century hub, realising its potential while respecting its past.”

U+I has appointed Studio Egret West as the lead urban designer, architect and landscape architect for the Mayfield Project. U+I worked with the same studio on the Old Vinyl Factory, Clapham One, Caxton Works and Preston Barracks in Brighton. A variety of other designers will join the team as the project evolves, the developer said.

The site, once home to the Mayfield railway station, has been derelict for over a decade and the regeneration will breathe new life into what was once a thriving city district.

U+I plans to save the station building and retain other heritage assets in the area.

The Mayfield site will provide 1,300 homes, 800,000 sq ft of office space, a 350-bedroom hotel, retail and leisure facilities and a new city park in total creating over 7,500 office, retail, leisure and construction jobs. It will reshape and extend the city towards Manchester Piccadilly; building on the benefits of the Northern Hub, Network Rail’s programme of targeted upgrades to improve rail connectivity in the north of England; and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider Piccadilly area.

The partnership explained: “Drawing on the heritage of the site, the regeneration will also seek to enhance many of its historic features: developing alongside and improving the River Medlock which flows through the site; maintaining some of the iconic buildings that still stand; and making the most of the railway heritage of the area.”

U+I has a long track record of delivering similar gateway regeneration projects, often in partnership with public sector bodies: the £2bn PaddingtonCentral project which transformed a former 11-acre railway sidings into a new commercial hub for London; The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes, a £250m regeneration project which is delivering a new mixed-use community on a 17-acre site in West London; and The Deptford Project in South London, a partnership project with the local council that has transformed Deptford high street through a residential-led mixed-use regeneration of a formerly derelict site.

The Mayfield Partnership will now enter into a joint-venture with U+I to take forward the comprehensive regeneration of the 24-acre site with an ambition to submit an outline planning application to the council in the spring of 2017. The first phase of the project will see the site opened up to the city through a series of onsite community activities. Some of the ideas for this early phase include a community farm, a raised park and cultural spaces.

David Joy, chief executive of LCR said: “Today we mark a very significant milestone in the delivery of this exemplary urban regeneration scheme for Manchester. U+I has a proven track record of delivering innovative and distinctive developments, such as PaddingtonCentral, The Old Vinyl Factory and The Deptford Project. They will lead on masterplanning the Mayfield site as well as high quality place-making, through to delivery of the necessary infrastructure and the development itself. We look forward to working with U+I to ensure the success of this scheme which is set to create lasting long-term benefits for not only the local area, but the City of Manchester as a whole.”

Deloitte is advising U+I.

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