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Mixed-Use Conversion Starts On Former Debenhams in Manchester City Centre

Work is underway on the former Debenhams department store in Manchester.

Real estate investment family firm AM alpha is to convert the Rylands building on the corner of Market Street and High Street in Manchester into a 465K SF mixed-use development comprising retail, leisure and office space.

The Grade II-listed building, which previously housed the Debenhams department store, will undergo extensive modernisation. AM alpha bought the building for £87M in 2017.

The redevelopment continues the trend of turning city centre department stores into predominantly office-led schemes following the demise of retailers like Debenhams and House of Fraser

Refurbishment will include fully redeveloping the existing building, converting the upper floors into office space and creating a shopping arcade on the ground floor.

AM alpha will also add a four-storey extension to the building, meaning Rylands will comprise 10 floors of offices, a shopping arcade and a leisure area, predominantly for F&B, once the refurbishment has been completed.

Enabling works for the transformation of the vacant building have already begun, with main works scheduled to start in 2023 and completion expected in early 2025.

The building has been designed to achieve net-zero carbon status and the developer hopes to achieve a Breeam Excellent or Nabers 5* rating.

Local construction company Russell WBHO, which specialises in listed and sustainable projects, will act as construction partner for the project, while local property companies OBI and Barker Proudlove have been appointed as letting agents.

Munich-based, privately owned real estate family office AM alpha focuses on global investments in prime real estate on its own account and in collaboration with family offices, private clients and endowments in Europe and Asia.