Ask Real Estate has bought a prime site next to Manchester Central in a deal that paves the way for it to progress plans for a £300m mixed-use scheme spanning more than 750,000 sq ft.
The developer has purchased the 1.7-acre former Bauer Millett luxury car showroom next to Manchester Central and the Metrolink track between Deansgate-Castlefield and St Peter’s Square. The transaction represents its first new development opportunity in Manchester city centre following the completion of Carillion’s acquisition of a majority stake in Ask in January 2016.
Early development proposals envisage a mix of uses comprising commercial offices, hotel, retail/leisure, residential and car parking, which could total more than 750,000 sq ft and have a value of approximately £300m. It would be delivered in a partnership between Ask, Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Manchester Central.
John Hughes, managing director of Ask said: “Our new corporate relationship with Carillion, which was only completed in January, has given us the platform to move quickly to acquire this prime piece of real estate in the city centre.
“I am looking forward to us working in partnership with MCC, TfGM and Manchester Central and evolving our exciting development proposals before submitting a detailed planning application later this year.”
Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: “We are delighted that Ask has acquired this strategic site, and look forward to working with colleagues in bringing forward the development of a key part of the City’s Civic Quarter.”
Angie Robinson, chief executive of Manchester Central, said: “Our location in the heart of the city is a key part of our venue offer. We very much look forward to working with partners to shape these strategic city developments which, in turn, will help to make Manchester an even more attractive destination for conferences and events.”
The architect on the scheme is SimpsonHaugh and Partners.