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New First Street Towers Plan As Demand For New Manchester Office Space Grows

Four new towers and an additional 750K SF of offices will turn First Street into the south-western anchor of Manchester city centre's office market.

The city council say that increasing office demand could mean a planning application as soon as this summer from developers the Richardsons and Patrizia.


A revised masterplan for the First Street development will add another 750K SF of floorspace, including two new office towers of 17 storeys.

Manchester City Council's ruling executive will consider the proposals, drawn up by council officials after talks with the developers, at a meeting on Wednesday 25 July.

Documents presented to the council say the revision has been forced by improved market conditions. "As a result of this analysis, increased scale and density of commercial development is proposed on these two plots. This will ensure that First Street can meet the level of demand in the area and maximise its contribution to the city’s economic growth," the report said.

"It is considered that buildings of up to 17 storeys on plots 9a and 10a, and 10-12 storeys on plots 9b and 10b are considered suitable and deliverable. This would increase the density of office provision within First Street Central from 2.1M to 2.47M SF, maximising the potential growth and employment benefits to be derived from the site."


The report adds that planning applications for Plots 9 and 10 will come forward when there is sufficient occupier interest at No. 8 First Street, as the building reaches completion. "However, it is possible that an application for the first of these plots could come forward as early as summer 2018 in light of significant occupier demand in the Manchester market," councillors have been told.

The two 17-storey towers will be on the 2.3-acre site next to No. 8 First Street, and total 347K SF of new office floorspace.

Significant demand has been shown to exist for the First Street office concept. No. 1 First Street is fully occupied and the 170K SF No.8 First Street is currently 47% pre-let, with construction due to complete in late 2018.

The aim is to link the First Street development to the tower cluster at Greater Jackson Street in the west, and to Whitworth Street West and around St Peter’s Square in the east. "There is an opportunity to deliver a powerful visual and functional connection between the southern edge of the city centre and its core," the report says.

In February Patrizia U.K. sold a 90% stake in the remaining 750K SF office development at First Street, Manchester to the Birmingham-based Richardson property dynasty and Ask Real Estate, which is two-thirds owned by the Richardsons.

The deal, reported to be valued at £25M, gives 45% stakes to both Ask Real Estate and the Richardsons' property vehicles.