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Manchester's 8.7M SF Portugal Street Jigsaw Takes Shape

AECOM/Olympian Homes' 438K SF Portugal Street East plans

The prospect that Portugal Street's cluster of 20-storey towers will get built, creating a new south-easterly hub for Manchesder city centre, just got a lot closer, a report to Manchester City Council reveals.

The Portugal Street East cluster is expected to deliver 8.7M SF of commercial floorspace and 13,000 new apartments, and is easily the biggest regeneration prospect in the North of England (and possibly the South, too).

Developers involve Capital & Centric, Forshaw Land & Property, Olympian Homes and AECOM.

Landowners involved in the massive scheme have now signed a collaboration agreement, and accepted that they will contribute to the public realm and third-party land purchases necessary to make the project workable. A new jointly owned management company will take the lead in the project.

The council has also agreed with developers to break the plan down into more manageable chunks, with Capital & Centric's Adair Street hotel development and sites fronting Great Ancoats Street likely to move first and fastest.

However, progress on the main public area, a park south of the proposed HS2 high speed rail terminus, could be slowed by the need to win HS2 Ltd.'s approval, and the difficulties of land assembly. The city council will consider using its compulsory purchase powers to speed progress.

Manchester City Council will also make land available, but only on condition landlords make progress and provide the park.

"The drawdown of the council’s land will be conditional on obtaining satisfactory planning permission for the relevant scheme and an obligation to enter into agreements to secure the public park land, as enshrined in the collaboration agreement," a report to councillors said.