If having a cathedral or a university identifies somewhere as being a city, perhaps a food hall is the modern recognisable symbol of a fashionable neighbourhood. Manchester is on its way to becoming the food hall capital of Europe with new ones announced for the St John’s District and Broughton adding to existing success stories like Mackie Mayor, Alty Market and newbies Society and New Century. Yet another city centre one is on the way, this time at First Street.
If you’re tired of the unsightly construction site hoardings that have been wrapped around First Street for what feels like a decade. The good news is that we are one step closer to losing them in favour of another shiny new building.
Vita Group has revealed its first CGIs of its newest construction set to be erected on First Street’s “Plot 10b” which was the setting for HOMEground arts, culture, food and drink festival a couple of years back and has also played host to various other food and music events including Pride.
The building, named House of Social, will be purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) but not as you know it. Vita Group says House of Social is “the student house re-imagined”. Designed for second and third-year students who have established friendship groups, each “house” is centred around an open plan kitchen and lounge space designed to bring housemates together with large ensuite bedrooms on either side.
The accommodation will comprise 576 beds for students with a mix of 76 six-bedroom clusters and 24 five-bedroom clusters. The proposal includes a provision for 86 affordable rooms, along with 24 studios designed to be accessible for residents with additional needs.
Plans for the new building also include a large ground floor food hall with approximately 1,304sqm of commercial space that they plan to let to local independent food brands to help them to establish their businesses. it will offer around 400 covers and create approximately 30 front of house jobs if approved.
This new food hall will be open to the public, not just students and its residents, and will hopefully bring a bit more life to a currently quite desolate looking bit of town. With HOME, Wood restaurant, Bunny Jackson’s, Indian Tiffin Room and more just over the road at Tony Wilson Place, this is another piece in the First Street puzzle that has been in progress for some time now.
Max Bielby, Chief Operating Officer for Vita Group said: “We’re delighted to bring forward these exciting new plans for our new student brand House of Social, adding to the First Street masterplan and complementing our neighbouring Vita Student offering. House of Social is the student house re-imagined, bringing students together at the most important time in their life and giving them the opportunity to make life-long friends whilst excelling in their studies.”
It will be interesting to see how this one develops.