University to enter detailed talks with ID Manchester bidders

The search to appoint a development partner for the £1.5bn innovation district has restarted following a pause during lockdown, and the winner is expected to be announced next spring.

The University of Manchester put the procurement process on hold in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, having already notified the four preferred bidders.

The longlist includes:

  • Bruntwood SciTech with London-based investor and developer Stanhope
  • Peel L&P and Urban Splash
  • HBD, formerly Henry Boot Developments
  • Singapore-based investor Mapletree Investments

The university will now go into detailed discussions with the longlisted bidders and the next announcement – the selected development partner – is expected to take place in early 2021.

The winning bidder was initially due to be chosen by autumn this year, but this has been pushed back.

ID Manchester is a proposed 4m sq ft mixed-use scheme intended to attract science, research, development, cultural and technology companies to the university’s property estate. A total of 2.6m sq ft of offices and other workspace is proposed, along with some residential development and three acres of public realm.

The city centre site sits close to the 650,000 sq ft, grade two-listed Sackville Street Building, which also offers an opportunity for repurposing, according to the university.

Diana Hampson, director of estates and facilities at the University of Manchester, said: “We look forward to beginning detailed dialogue with the selected bidders.

“Pausing the process has allowed ourselves and the bidding teams space to deal with the immediate impact and challenges created by the pandemic. ID Manchester is an incredibly exciting project and we are looking forward to progressing to the next stage.”

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