Manchester has been a bit of a building site for as long as anyone can remember. Just a short jaunt around the city will stand you below towering cranes, metallic new builds and a lot of men in high vis, and now another new building on Bridge Street has been given the green light by Manchester City Council.
The rather dystopian Albert Bridge House, which has sat in the city centre since the late 1950s, will be redeveloped by Oval Real Estate – a company that has plans to revamp the building into a brand-new sustainable office space complete with rooftop gardens.
The plans detail 365,000 sq ft of flexible workspace, designed to meet the needs of a range of occupiers. 19 storeys at its highest, the office building will have a stepped design, with a number of accessible green terraces and rooftop spaces to create a unique façade.
Providing 367 new Build-to-Rent homes, the additional hexagonally designed residential tower steps up from 34 to 45 storeys in height and will become another recognisable addition to Manchester’s skyline. The residential building will provide a mix of high quality shared spaces and there are also plans for an on-site gym, bouldering wall, rooftop gardens, cinema room and private dining facilities.
A key priority of the development will be to open up access to the riverside and create active ground floor uses. Over 1.2 acres a new public square and an enhanced river walk are planned, complete with woodland glade planting and new cafes, bars and restaurants will occupy the ground floor space to further activate the surrounding area.
James Craig, Founding Partner of Oval Real Estate, said:
“We are delighted that Manchester City Council’s Planning Committee has backed our plans and entrusted us to create a thriving and inclusive new destination for Manchester city centre.
“With sustainability at the heart of our plans, we are very excited to transform this currently grey and concrete-dominated site into a green, welcoming new neighbourhood, complete with biodiversity-rich public spaces and a new River Walk, as well as cascading green terraces on our unique new office building.
“Over the last few months, we have worked closely with a range of stakeholders – including adjacent landowners and the local community – to develop our plans. St Mary’s Parsonage is a burgeoning part of the city centre with lots of exciting plans for the future. We look forward to continuing to work together to make this vision a reality.
“While this is an excellent milestone, we know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us. We are working towards the demolition of the existing buildings on site later in the year and look forward to sharing further updates about development timescales in the next few months.”