Argent-led consortium ‘chosen for Airport City’

ARGENT, the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund and Carillion are understood to have been selected as preferred bidders to develop the £659m Airport City North scheme.

PropertyWeek.com says the consortium is days away from being named by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) to redevelop 65 acres north of the airport into an office and manufacturing base.

A MAG spokesman refused to confirm the report, stating, “No party has yet been selected for the final stage in our joint venture partner selection process.”

Plans were approved in January for 1.2m sq ft of offices, 530,000 sq ft of manufacturing space and 1,300 hotel beds.

The project is at the centre of the 150-acre Manchester Airport City Enterprise Zone unveiled by chancellor George Osborne in January 2012, which also includes a major logistics hub to the south of the airport.

Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund is already working with Manchester-based Argent and contractor Carillion on the One St Peter’s Square office scheme in the city and is thought to have pulled together the partnership. Other contenders were understood to be Ask Developments, Segro, Development Securities and Goodman.

Under the consortium’s plan, Carillion would likely take charge of the industrial element of the scheme, and the retail, leisure and office elements would be developed by Argent. The site is a mix of scrubland and temporary airport parking, bordered by the M56 spur road and Woodhouse Park area of Wythenshawe.

As well as offices, industrial space, and hotel beds, Airport City promises 62,000 sq ft of retail and a 13-acre central park area.

MAG’s spokesman added: “We are pleased with the level of interest shown to date by a number of parties in relation to the Airport City Project at Manchester Airport; as a number of bids have come from a range of international developers and funders.”

Consortium members declined to comment.