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Manchester Office/Resi Scheme Grows By 500K SF, And Nobody Notices

How the ID Manchester development could look

It came a little late, but Manchester's largest southside private sector regeneration initiative is now underway, and it will be bigger than originally planned.

ID Manchester will total 4M SF. Such is the hectic state of Manchester's boomtown property market, a 500K SF increase in floorspace that would once have justified headlines a foot tall, has gone largely unnoticed.

The scheme has grown since it was launched at the Mipim property convention in March. Total development of 4M SF is now envisaged, up from 3.5M SF in the earlier plan.

There will be 2.6M SF of new office workspace. The 600K SF Sackville Building is flagged for redevelopment, with residential heavily tipped.

The University of Manchester has begun the competitive tender process to find its development and investment partner to deliver the new £1.5B world-class innovation district on the old UMIST campus.

The ID Manchester scheme is expected to "nurture the next generation of game-changing businesses," University Vice Chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell said.

The proposal was due to go to the market earlier this summer, but it was disclosed in June that technical issues had delayed the formal invitation to developers and contractors. The rethink on scale may also have been responsible for the July and August pause.

ID Manchester is one among several Manchester schemes to pivot toward more office space as the city's economy rockets. Recent resi-to-office switches at Great Northern, Allied London’s St John’s and U+I's Mayfield have all beefed-up their workspace offer.

“Our vision draws on Manchester’s ecosystem of ideas, discovery, research and development, and ID Manchester will provide the canvas on which all those strands can come together to take urban regeneration to a whole new level," University of Manchester Director of Estates Diana Hampson said. "ID Manchester will be where our most valuable discoveries today are tried, tested and developed into the technology, buildings and commerce of tomorrow.”

The Sackville Building, a key feature of the campus redevelopment

ID Manchester is one of the last major development opportunity sites in the city, and forms one of the central links in a chain of southside schemes.

These include U+I's Mayfield, Allied London's London Road Fire Station, residential developments including Capital & Centric/Henry Boot's Kampus, Bruntwood's Circle Square and the £1B investment being made into its main Oxford Road campus by The University of Manchester.

The scheme forms the northern end of the city's Oxford Road innovation corridor. Earlier this month Manchester City Council unveilled a new strategy for half a dozen additional corridor sites with a potential development value of £2B.

Existing Oxford Road corridor sites like the University’s ID Manchester (North Campus) Manchester Science Park, Circle Square and First Street already have specific regeneration frameworks.

The four new sites given a framework by the council include the Upper Brook Street site immediately next to the ID Manchester North Campus Site where up to 1M SF of workspace is expected; the former Salvation Army site at Wilmott Street; the former Elizabeth Gaskell Campus at Hathersage Road next to St Mary’s Hospital/MRI; and a site at Birchall Way. Development is expected on some sites sooner than others, but all within around 10 years.

The university said the process of selecting a development partner for the ID site will take around 12 months, with a partner announcement being made in autumn 2020.

Manchester's tech sector has grown fast: Are developers responding fast enough? To join the conversation register for Bisnow MOST: Manchester Office Sustainability And Tech event on 6 November