Revolutionary housing project launches in Manchester

Colin Shenton

The man who brought Ziferblat to the UK will launch a new scheme in Manchester this month.

Oppidan has been designed for city dwellers who want to share and create a new social experience, whilst also having the day to day details of modern life taken care of.

Located in the heart of the Northern Quarter the first Oppidan building is due to open its doors on Swan Street in the coming weeks.

Tenants pay a single fixed monthly rent which includes their private apartment, all utilities, super-fast Wi-Fi, food essentials, living supplies, cleaning and maintenance, four hours of free car hire per month, community events and a range of lifestyle benefits arranged by a dedicated House Manager.

Oppidan chief executive Colin Shenton says members will also be given unlimited use of all Ziferblats across the UK with a Clockwork membership.

He said: “Without Ziferblat we wouldn’t have come up with the Oppidan concept.

“The first Oppidan on Swan Street will house 15 people of any age who want to really embrace true co-living and know their neighbours, build a community.

“There are three shared spaces inside Oppidan Swan Street, with the layout designed to encourage people to interact and build their community. These spaces, one of which includes a dining table for 16 people and a huge party kitchen, are an extension of your own apartment, in which you have your own kitchen, storage, en-suite shower room all your bedding and loads of other amenities.

“We have a house manager, Hannah-Rose, who will create a calendar of events for those who want to take part, including beer and pizza nights, yoga classes, walking tours, board game evenings, birthday and Christmas parties, and much more.”
Oppidan, according to Colin, will also help deal with the ever-increasing problem of urban loneliness.

“People are lonelier in the city than they are in the villages and the countryside,” said Colin. “London is famous for this and Manchester isn’t far behind. People in the city are so busy and focussed that they don’t have time to be part of a community as such.

“People need people and not just on the other side of the gym or the office. Oppidan addresses this by giving over space which could otherwise be apartments to social spaces for everyone. Rent a private flat and also get huge shared spaces to live in as well.”

He added: “We are using what we learned from Ziferblat to build in trust, fun and community. At Ziferblat you can make of it what you want.

“People use Ziferblats for anything from a yoga session, dance class, business meeting, chess with friends, to eating cake. Mostly eating cake! Whatever you want to do, you can impose on to Ziferblat’s blank canvas what you want that to be and make it your own.

“Oppidan is the same thing, purposefully social and giving people the best opportunity to facilitate their own city life.

“If you are 18 or 80, it doesn’t matter. It’s about people and diversity as that is what will make a true co-living community.”

Below the three upper floors, on the ground floor and basement, the first Oppidan development will also be home to The Quick Brown Fox, a craft beer venue from the people who brought you Kosmonaut, Ply and the ABC brewery. The Quick Brown Fox is due to this summer as well.

The next Oppidans will open in Sheffield, Leeds and Liverpool in 2020.

Rooms available at Oppidan Northern Quarter Manchester from £250 per person per week. Deposit only £250.