Latest phase of First Street development goes out to public consultation

Tony Wilson Place

Public consultations will be held to help determine the shape of the latest developments at First Street, Manchester.

As one of Manchester city centre’s most transformational regeneration schemes, Ask Real Estate and Vita Group have announced their vision for one of First Street’s remaining development plots.

Since its beginnings in 2006, progress to realise the masterplan vision for First Street has been picking up pace in recent years.

With the early phase successes of Number One First Street, HOME, Vita Student, Innside and Tony Wilson Place now well established, recent planning approvals have included Downing’s co-living scheme south of Hulme Street as well as a next generation net zero carbon office building at Plot 9a, fronting Medlock Street.

In June, the Government Property Agency announced it would be taking all 130,000 sq ft of space within this new building to create a civil service hub, where it plans to relocate 2,500 staff from Piccadilly Gate and Whitehall in 2025.

The next development plot to come forward at First Street is Plot 10, which is located on River Street, to the south of Number One First Street and James Grigor Square. It is one of the few remaining development opportunities within the First Street masterplan east of Medlock Street.

The vision for Plot 10 is to deliver an exciting mix of new workspace, leisure opportunities and high quality student accommodation.

A new NABERS 5.5* next generation sustainable office building will complement the cluster of new office buildings located around James Grigor Square and advance the position of First Street as a leading commercial and leisure destination within the city centre.

Accompanying the new office building, the Plot 10 vision includes Vita Group’s new House of Social brand which features an active ground floor food hall designed to bring the community together with a focus on sustainable local producers and traders, as well as high quality student accommodation on the upper floors.

While the size of these future developments has not yet been decided, the 2018 update to the First Street Strategic Development Framework identified an opportunity for buildings of up to 17 storeys.

Before commencing on detailed design work, Ask and Vita Group are keen to talk to members of the local community about the vision for Plot 10 and ensure that community aspirations form part of the design brief.

Informal drop-in sessions are being held outside in Tony Wilson Place on Thursday, September 1, (12-2pm) and Tuesday, September 6, (4pm-6:30pm).

Information will also be made available on a consultation website – www.firststreet-plot10.co.uk – where people can find out more and provide feedback.

John Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate, said: “Building on a great year so far, with the Government Property Agency announcement, we’re delighted to unveil our vision for Plot 10. The mix of workspace, leisure and residential will continue our drive to create a welcoming and dynamic community at First Street.

“Throughout our regeneration journey, we have worked collaboratively with First Street’s neighbours to shape a place that brings benefits to all.

“That’s why we want to start the conversation about Plot 10 at a very early stage in the design development process. We’re looking forward to listening and gathering insights over the next few weeks to help ensure our plans for Plot 10 deliver the maximum possible benefits to the city.”

Max Bielby, chief operating officer for Vita Group, said: “Our existing development at First Street has been hugely successful and consistently ranks highly in terms of resident satisfaction and wellbeing. We are proud that the dynamic residential community we have created has brought real energy to the First Street area.

“Our new House of Social concept at Plot 10 will take this a step further, building a real sense of community through a welcoming food hall which will be open to all, as well as student accommodation which focuses on high quality shared spaces to encourage friendship and collaboration.”

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