Done brothers submit plans for £80m office block

FRED and Peter Done’s property business Mosley Street Ventures has submitted plans for a 162,000 sq ft office block on St Peter’s Square in Manchester.

No 2 St Peter’s Square will stand next to No 1, which is under construction, on the site of four existing buildings – Century House, Sussex House, Bennett House and Clarendon House.

Century House was the 1930s home of the Friends’ Provident & Century Insurance Company.

The Dones say their block, part of a wider revamp of the square, should be completed by early 2016 at the latest and will be worth £80m. It will also have 5,500 sq ft of retail space and parking for 43 vehicles.

Fred Done said: “This project once completed will create one of Manchester’s most sought after office spaces.

“We have worked extensively with the city and English Heritage to ensure the design compliments their vision for the changing face of St Peter’s Square. We are extremely proud to be connected to this project and the quality of the building that will be created.”

The Ian Simpson-designed building will sit in front of the planned Peterloo House, a 12-storey, 108,000 sq ft block being delivered by AXA Real Estate, and the redeveloped former Odeon cinema on Oxford Road. Manchester & Metropolitan Properties has permission to knock it down and build a 14-storey, 175,000 sq ft tower with the US-based developer Hines.

The square itself will undergo a major redesign carried out by German architects Latz+Partner. This will involve moving the Sir Edwin Lutyens-designed cenotaph and the tram stop, and installing a new monument to commemorate the 15 people killed in the 1819 Peterloo Massacre.

The council’s chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein said: “The redevelopment of St Peter’s Square is key to the growth of Manchester’s economic centre. Our vision is to provide a world class setting to help reinforce the perception of Manchester as a dynamic, creative and confident city.

“The investment in Manchester’s City Library, the extension of the Town Hall and the Metrolink second city crossing is going to reinvent the site, and No 2 St Peter’s Square is an important element of that.”

Manchester Civic Society objected to the cenotaph move and is uneasy about the scale of the proposed new buildings. Last year chairman John Kershaw told “What’s not commonly known is that the whole of this area from St Peter’s Square, going back towards Portland St and Mosley St, is a conservation area and some of the other buildings, like Century House, are in that.

“They are a fundamental part of this central hub of Manchester and we’re concerned that new buildings will be out of keeping and height with other buildings in the area.”

He added: “We are not against new development in any way but our byword for future buildings in this great city is; are they good enough for Manchester? We believe that what’s proposed is not good enough for Manchester.”

DTZ has been appointed as agent for No 2 St Peter’s Square, whilst other members of the design team include Deloitte Real Estate and Davis Langdon. Funding has come from Santander, arranged and managed by Nigel Carson of property finance international.