Bricks & Mortar part 14 – some of the latest stories hitting the Greater Manchester property world
Things are looking up in Greater Manchester. Hotels are booming, pockets of problem areas are being beautified, new homes are being planned and previously overlooked suburbs are getting a boost. Here's the latest:
98 hotels in Greater Manchester in three years
Rooms galore for Manchester. A recent study found that almost 30 new hotels are set to open in the Manchester city region within the next three years. Names such as Mollie’s Motel and Diner by Soho House Group, The Quality Street Hotel and Hotel Brooklyn are among those arriving. Adrian Ellis, Chair of Manchester Hoteliers’ Association (MHA), said the continued rise of Manchester - now one of the fastest growing cities in Europe according to a recent Deloitte Real Estate report - is the main contributor to the growth of the hotel development pipeline. “By 2023,” said Adrian, “the city region will boast 98 hotels. That’s 28 on top of the 70 that already operate here. The pace of the city’s growth really is unprecedented. This includes a multitude of apartments, new offices, retailers, cultural attractions and of course, hotels. Hoteliers in the city region are now working together to plug this gap between supply and demand and are working with Marketing Manchester to help create more activities, events, conferences and attractions so guests and travellers keep visiting our wonderful city.”
Problem site on Swan Street snapped up
It’s a right tip opposite Mackie Mayor on Swan Street. Scrappy old garages and tatty forecourts present a forlorn image. So this is good news. One of the city’s more interesting developers Capital & Centric has teamed up with Kamani Property, owned by the family behind Boohoo.com, to acquire the site and change this about. The plot is 14,000 sq ft. Architect Hawkins\Brown is working on designs for the disused site. Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital & Centric has said: “You’d be hard pushed to find a better site in the Northern Quarter. It’s right next to Mackie Mayor and Band on the Wall so always buzzing with people. The Kamani Property Group are good to work with, they get what we’re about and, like us, think development should be high quality, design led and anything but ordinary. As you would expect from our jenga inspired Adair Street and Ducie Street hotels and our owner occupier focused Phoenix development, we will do something ambitious and exciting to keep raising the bar.”
400 homes on eyesore site at Old Trafford
Another mess of an area is Skerton Road in Old Trafford close to Trafford Bar Metrolink, where a wrecked flour mill dominates the landscape. Around 400 homes have been proposed, with an application to be submitted in February. Tim Groom Architects has been appointed with Zerum as the planning consultant. The scheme is looking to provide five blocks of six and eleven storeys, with landscaping and car parking.
Oldham advancing with £306m
Oldham is thinking big, which is good news for the struggling town. The idea is to invest £306m ‘creating more than 2,000 new homes in the town centre, 1,000 new jobs and 100 apprenticeship opportunities, is set to be approved by Oldham Council. The initiative is called ‘Creating a Better Place’ and aims to ‘build more homes for local people, deliver new jobs through town centre regeneration, and ensure Oldham is a great place to visit and do business’. Tommyfield Marketis set to be preserved as part of the plans. Construction work to transform the former Oldham Library into OMA – a state-of-the-art £13m arts and heritage centre which will offer galleries, a modern archive facility and performance space – will soon begin. There will be refurbs for Royton Town Hall, a new school in Saddleworth, and a new hotel at Prince’s Gate, Oldham Mumps.
Alexandra, the eco-warrior
Along with the investment elsewhere there are plans to provide the town with the new Alexandra Park Eco Centre. It will have low running costs, aims to be ‘carbon neutral’ and will replace the existing and ageing depot currently on site. The new eco-centre would act as an anchor development for our flagship Northern Roots project. This is a bold and pioneering initiative which will transform Snipe Clough – 160 acres of under-used green space - into the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park. The Eco Centre will be a base for enterprises and community projects providing much-needed facilities – such as office space which will house Oldham Council’s environmental services department currently housed in the existing depot building, operational buildings, greenhouses and storage facilities. The professional team engaged on the project are architect Walker Simpson, M&E and energy strategy consultant WYG, structural engineers Aecom and Keelagher Okey Klein as QS / principal designer.
Building of the month: Riverside House
Let's underline the genius of Riverside House in the New Bailey development opposite Spinningfields. The building was completed in August 2019 and beautifully designed by Alford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM). It’s 11,000 sq feet of commercial space with a balcony and rooftop terrace. The design takes a handsome Victorian property and mixes and matches materials to superb effect to create a harmonious whole. The swoop and swerve of the building is a delight, the fenestration and the oatmeal brick colour on the modern eastern part of the building is particularly striking. Riverside House is an excellent example of subtle, and confident architecture that complements its surroundings and enhances the city scene. This could well be the building of the year.