What to expect in Manchester in 2019

With a record year for property, construction and development drawing to a close, UrbInfo looks ahead to 2019 to see what it has in store for Boom City™ .


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There still won't be enough office space

2018 was a subdued year for office space completions in Manchester, with just 284,000 sqft of space being delivered. The biggest block to complete construction was Bupa's new 145,000 sqft headquarters at Salford Quays, which is 100% occupied by Bupa. In the city centre, the renovation of historic Hanover House on Corporation Street completed in December 2018 and is already fully occupied by Amazon, who will open a 91,000 sqft tech hub in the building in 2019.


With pent up demand for office space, rents across the city are burgeoning and developers have taken to refurbishing older office stock in central locations in order to satisfy demand. This will continue in 2019 with Allied London expected to complete their renovation of Astley and Byrom House - rebranded 'ABC Buildings' - and Helical due to complete their refurbishment of Trinity Court on John Dalton Street. But supply isn't expected to pick up again until at least 2020. In the meantime, over 350,000 sqft of office space is due to deliver to the market in 2019, with major newbuild schemes at Landmark on Oxford Street (178,000 sqft) and 125 Deansgate (113,500 sqft) due to complete.

Hanover House, where Amazon are opening a new 91,000 sqft tech hub in 2019

We may also see more developments previously intended for residential development switch to commercial. Towards the end of 2018, Manchester City Council updated the regeneration framework for Great Northern Warehouse, being redeveloped by Trilogy, for the building to be converted to office space instead of the 142 apartments originally consented. Allied London have also submitted a planning application for 102,000 sqft of office space at The Media Building in St Johns, which was originally intended as an apartment block.


Nearly 1.5 million sqft of office space has completed in Manchester since 2014, and a further 1.6 million sqft is currently under construction. 822,000 sqft of which is due to complete in 2020.


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The resi boom will continue

More apartments completed construction in 2018 than any other year since the recession, with nearly 3,000. Although this is a staggering statistic, it's expected that 2019 will see the completion of nearly 7,000 homes across Manchester city centre, Salford and Trafford. All schemes due to be delivered in the next 12 months are already under construction.


2,971 of the homes due for completion in 2019 are in Manchester city centre; 3,376 are in Salford; and 515 are in Hulme. The rest are scattered between Cheetham, Trafford and Ardwick.


2019 will also be a staggering year for residential developments starting construction. There are 18 schemes, totalling 4,345 homes, which will almost certainly start construction next year. Among them is Echo Street, near Piccadilly station, which is being brought forward by iQ. It will be Manchester's first co-living development. In Old Trafford, Cole Waterhouse is expected to start construction at No1 Old Trafford, which is being built on the Trafford side of Salford Quays. It will feature 354 apartments in two towers 15 and 18 storeys in height, designed by 5Plus architects.

iQ's proposal near Piccadilly station will see three new towers built, containing co-living apartments and 242 student bedspaces

We may see Urban & Civic progress their plans for the redevelopment of the Renaissance Hotel on Deansgate. The hotel - whose lease expires in December 2018 - is due to be demolished to make way for a new mixed use district opening up the city's retail core to the River Irwell. Manchester City Council formally adopted a strategic regeneration framework (SRF) for the site this year, and Urban & Civic are due to submit a formal planning application in 2019.


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2018 saw Renaker purchase the Trinity Islands site off Allied London. Whether they decide to redesign the proposal or not is unknown, but the site has consent for Manchester's tallest building - at 67 storeys (213 metres). Considering the speed at which Renaker progress proposals, UrbInfo expects this site to generate a lot of news in 2019.


DeTrafford submitted Building Control applications to Manchester City Council for Transition and No1 Castlefield late in 2018, which indicates that these schemes - totalling 818 apartments between them - will be starting on site in the new year. Transition features three new towers 32, 26 and 18 storeys in height which will sit next to Renaker's Deansgate Square scheme.

Transition (foreground) could start construction in 2019 and will add to an already impressive skyline developing at Great Jackson Street.

Prosperity Capital Partners may start on site at Old Brewery Gardens in 2018. The scheme, to be delivered on the site of the old Boddingtons Brewery behind Victoria station, will deliver 556 apartments in total in a mixed-use scheme also featuring shops, bars and restaurants at ground floor. Meanwhile, nearby, we may see the first few planning applications around Great Ducie Street - following the formal approval by Manchester City Council of a strategic development framework for the area this year.


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Many more tall buildings will be brought forward

During 2018, no less than 36 tall buildings (over 20 storeys) were proposed for Manchester. 2019 may not see as many as that, but there will still be a high number of new proposals. There will also be more tall buildings starting construction in 2019 than in previous years. 2018 saw 8 tall buildings start construction; 2017 saw 7 while 2016 saw 6. There could be as many as 12 tall buildings starting construction in 2019.


Salford City Council updated their framework for the Greengate area of the city in 2018, proposing two new tall buildings in the area. With Renaker as majority landowner in this area, UrbInfo expects at least one more tall building, potentially over 40 storeys, to be proposed for Greengate in the new year. While on the other side of town, Renaker has framework consent for 11 more towers at Great Jackson Street. It's possible that 2019 will see some of these brought forward, most likely Plot C. Here, 5 new towers are proposed, the tallest of which is 46 storeys, although it's doubtful that we'll see planning applications for all 5 in one year.

Renaker will continue to progress their plans for the Great Jackson Street skyscraper district in 2019

As available land in the city centre dries up, we may see many more mixed use skyscrapers proposed for the city which squeeze multiple different uses out of ultra-prime sites. With the fintech boom set to continue, UrbInfo predicts at least one tall office building will be proposed for Manchester in 2019 in a prime location such as in or around Spinningfields. We may see tall buildings proposed as a combination of office and hotel, or office and residential.


Tall buildings could be proposed at Great Ducie Street, behind Victoria Station. The Great Ducie Street regeneration framework, adopted by Manchester City Council in November 2018, earmarks 6 new towers in this area, ranging from 22 to 34 storeys in height. Also adopted by Manchester City Council in 2018 is the regeneration framework for Mayfield, being brought forward by U+I. The mixed use scheme will see a variety of new residential, leisure and commercial districts created surrounding a major new city centre park. Looking across all of this will be 7 new mixed-use towers. The tallest is proposed at the Hoyle Street end of the site, where a 45-storey residential tower could be built. Mayfield will be developed over a ten-year period, although it's expected that the park and regeneration of the Mayfield depot (featuring apartments, office space, and retail, bars and restaurants) will be developed first.

More tall buildings are proposed at Great Ducie Street to the north of the city, which could be progressed in 2019.

Attention will be extended to regenerating Piccadilly Gardens

Development in Manchester has been focused on regenerating the periphery of the city in the last decade or so, and while that has succeeded, places like Piccadilly Gardens have been left to decay. With the council recently making noise about closing Piccadilly Gardens bus station, UrbInfo wonders if this land would be a prime candidate for a mixed use redevelopment to reassert Piccadilly's position at the centre of the city, with the 'Gardens' tag dropped in favour of a high quality central square.


Development will spread outwards from the city centre

This has been happening in Manchester for a few years already with the redevelopment of places like Chapel Street and Salford Quays. But as property prices push higher in Manchester city centre, and the need for commercial development in prime central locations pushes other uses further away, developers and investors could start looking to some of the areas surrounding the city centre for development opportunities. It's unlikely that areas not on Metrolink lines will share this growth.


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Trafford Council will progress their development framework for the Civic Quarter around Trafford town hall in 2019. It involves a major redevelopment of the land surrounding Talbot Road, where the Manchester United class of 1992 are building UA92 - a new university aimed at sport sciences. Development here takes advantage of the area's two Metrolink stations which together give access to most of south Manchester, as well as central Manchester and beyond.

Trafford Council's Civic Quarter masterplan is expected to be adopted in 2019 and looks at developing the area around Talbot Road into a more pedestrian-friendly urban community

Meanwhile, Far East Consortium are expected to forward their proposals for the Northern Gateway, which sees a 380 acre site in north Manchester regenerated to provide over 15,000 new homes in a variety of different communities sprawling out from the city centre. Part of the plan involves the creation of a new Metrolink station at Vauxhall Gardens - between Victoria and Queens Road/Monsall on the Bury/Oldham & Rochdale lines. This station will provide a focal point to a new high quality high street proposed on Rochdale Road. Plans will be progressed in 2019.


Cornbrook Metrolink station is the hub of the network, and is the key interchange between the Metrolink lines heading west and those heading south. Passengers can access any part of the network from Cornbrook, which is part of the reason that the surrounding area is now witnessing a development boom. Spurred on by the adoption of the Cornbrook Hub strategic regeneration framework by Manchester City Council in 2013, the area now has over 1,000 apartments under construction. UrbInfo expects that this area will continue to develop in 2019, with plans progressed by Salford Council for a new bridge linking Ordsall across the Manchester Ship Canal with the Metrolink hub.

The area around Cornbrook Metrolink station is starting to develop at a rapid pace as development spreads outside the city centre

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