Manchester hits 'peak' construction

There are now more apartments, more hotel bedrooms, more office space and more student bedspaces under construction across central Manchester than ever before, as the city hits 'peak construction'.


The number of residential apartments under construction hit new heights on Monday, when Renaker and Simpson-Haugh's Crown Street tower started on site, taking the total number of apartments under construction in the city to 17,067.


Meanwhile, the amount of office space underway in the city has had multiple boosts this summer. Construction started in June on English Cities Fund's 262,672 sqft Two New Bailey scheme across the river from Spinningfields, while last week Ask Real Estate got underway with the 165,000sqft second phase of its Embankment masterplan, also in Salford. This takes the total amount of office space under construction in the city to over 1.5 million sqft, having fallen to 800,000 sqft last summer due to the completion of Number One Spinningfields.


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There is also a steady supply of office developments waiting to start construction. Groundworks have now started on Allied London's 197,000 sqft Manchester Goods Yard building, part of its Enterprise City concept in St Johns. Meanwhile Aberdeen Asset Management is now clearing a site on York Street to deliver a new 80,000 sqft commercial scheme there.

Allied London's Manchester Goods Yard scheme, designed by Cartwright Pickard, is due to start construction soon

The hotels sector has taken a while to recover, but there are now 2,076 hotel beds under construction across the city centre and surrounding areas. This compares to 708 hotel beds under construction in August 2017, and just 402 in August 2016.


This summer, two major hotel schemes have got underway in the city. StayCity started on site at its new 224-aparthotel building in New Cross in June, while July saw work get underway at Circle Square Plot 14, which will deliver 155 hotel bedrooms in a quirky structure sitting above a multi-storey car park.

Circle Square Plot 14 started construction in July 2018

There is also a remarkably strong hotels pipeline going forward; 1,922 hotel bedrooms have planning consent in central Manchester. Among those is a 327-bedroom Nadler Hotel, which will be situated on the lower ten storeys of No.1 St John's, Allied London's landmark 52-storey skyscraper, which started groundworks in late June. It is expected to start climbing in the new year.


Finally, development of new student accommodation has been restricted in Manchester since 2013, but it appears to be making a comeback. There are now 2,049 student bedspaces under construction in the city, the lion's share of which is contained within Downing Student's 791-bedspace, 32-storey tower on River Street in the south of the city centre. After gaining planning approval in March 2018, Downing started on site the following month.


June saw Unite Student start on site at their 603-bedspace, 32-storey tower on New Wakefield Street, off Oxford Road. Designed by Simpson-Haugh, it is due to complete in time for the 2020 academic year.


There are a further 2,098 student bedspaces proposed for the city.


Altogether, there are now 110 individual schemes under construction across central Manchester. The first half of 2018 saw that number jump from 82 in January to 101 in April. There were 75 schemes under construction in August 2017, 38 in August 2016 and 15 in August 2015.

Peak construction

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