Topping out at £8m residential scheme in former job centre

The proposed Job Centre conversion
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Placefirst’s £8m Manchester residential scheme of 53 high quality apartments in Longsight has topped out.

Placefirst is a build-to-rent provider with more than 1,300 homes, and a further 1,000 in the pipeline and under construction.

Work on the development began in March 2021. The topping out represents an exciting construction milestone, with the former job centre’s rooftop extension now complete and the building reaching its highest point.

The rooftop extension has given a new lease of life to this building and will accommodate eight homes with stunning views across to the Manchester city centre skyline. Ground floor residents will have the luxury of private entrances and dual aspects with windows at the front and rear.

The overall scheme comprises a mix of high specification apartments, ranging from studios to three-beds, and is on track for completion in spring 2022.

Alongside the topping out, the internal fit out is also well under way and the build programme is making great progress. Interiors will include high quality, modern kitchens and bathrooms and residents can expect top spec finishes throughout and bright communal areas.

Longsight has fantastic links to the centre of Manchester, making it an ideal location for commuters, and, in turn, shall add further value to the local community with increased footfall for amenities and leisure facilities.

Placefirst worked with Project 3 Architects to repurpose and transform the former job centre, paying close attention to sustainability and modern design. The regeneration specialists also partnered with an arboriculturist and Manchester City Council to plant new trees and install new public realm, also adding a perimeter hedge and protect high value trees in the southwest corner of the site.

Energy efficiency of the apartments will be maximised by incorporating renewable sources such as solar panels, improving Psi values to limit heat loss and electric panel heaters that have a high level of control for residents.

All apartments will be available for long term let through Placefirst as part of the professional landlord’s commitment to offering a viable alternative to outright home ownership. Residents will also benefit from a dedicated resident services manager as part of the developer’s dedication to high quality service and community engagement within their schemes.

David Mawson, chief executive at Placefirst, said: “We are excited to have reached this construction milestone where, despite the challenges of the past year, the hard work undertaken by our team and partners has seen a former derelict building brought back into use, to transform it into a thriving, sustainable neighbourhood and providing 53 new homes.

“This development in the up-and-coming area of Longsight is another great demonstration of our commitment to placemaking and shall provide high quality apartment living for local residents with excellent links to Manchester city centre and surrounding areas.

“To see the building topping out is a great step in bringing this building back to life, and we look forward to its completion next year and residents moving in.”

Craig Smith, architect director for Project 3 Architects, said: “It has been fantastic to work in partnership with Placefirst on this project for the adaptive re-use of a former office building, and witness the completion of the roof structure. The rooftop extension, which has been designed to complement the existing surroundings, helps bring the building to life and will create desirable and attractive much needed homes for local residents, whilst also offering stunning views of the city skyline.”

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