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Lads Only? What Is It With Sports Stars And Manchester Property

Freddie Flintoff (at right)

"Hey, did you once make a bit of money doing things with balls? Throwing them, kicking them? Great! You could have a future in Manchester commercial real estate."

Advertisements like this have not — yet — been seen around the city, but Manchester's capacity to be mesmerised by sphere-based sporting endeavour, and the men who do it, has never been more obvious. This week it was on display at the MIPIM property convention in Cannes.

Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff — the former England and Lancashire cricketer who retired from the sport in 2010 — has plans for two sites adjacent to U+I's Mayfield site, near Piccadilly, Place North West reports. An hotel and a residential scheme are being considered.

Last year Logick announced plans for a 36-storey residential tower at Arundel Street, on the Castlefield/Hulme borders. It will go before city planners later this spring.

Flintoff joined the board of Logick as a director in May. The company was formed in 2009 and its managing director is his cousin Neil Spencer.

Gary Neville (at right)

Meanwhile Class of '92 Manchester United and England player Gary Neville took advantage of MIPIM to press ahead with plans for a new university college in Old Trafford, described as a "catalyst for regeneration" in the area.

The proposal has the backing of other Class of '92 players: brother Phil, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, some of whom have yet to form property development businesses; and of Manchester landlord and developer Bruntwood, which has yet to form a football club.

Earlier this month proposals for the £200M St Michael's mixed-use development at Bootle Street, Manchester, won the backing of city councillors after a long campaign to change it from heritage groups. The final decision now rests with Communities Secretary Sajid Javid. The start of work on site has now been pushed back to spring 2019, Insider reports.

So what's the appeal to property of retired sports men? "We’re all Lancashire lads," Flintoff told Place North West.