Permission sought for major city centre office refurbishment

Plans for 17 Quay Street

OBI Property, the Manchester-based property consultants, has submitted a full planning application for the major office refurbishment of 17 Quay Street in the city centre.

Urbana Partners acquired 17 Quay Street, formerly Direct Line House, through OBI’s transaction and asset management team in February this year.

The building comprises 58,000 sq ft of office space, prominently situated on the corner of Quay Street and Byrom Street and will form an integral link between nearby Enterprise City and Spinningfields.

To do this, a new entrance will be created via Byrom Street creating a new gateway through St John’s Gardens to Enterprise City.

The building’s external appearance will also be brought into the present day, with proposed alteration to the elevations including wholesale window replacement, brickwork tinting and new canopied entrances from Quay Street.

The external enhancements will be matched internally, with Grade A office space from floors 1-5, a new best-in-class reception and business lounge, fitted-and-furnished small suites to the first floor with retail and leisure opportunities at ground floor all being delivered as part of the project.

Acknowledging occupiers’ desire for increasing amounts of green and amenity space in the workplace post-COVID, the refurbishment will add both cycle and shower facilities to the lower ground floor and a new rooftop terrace accessible to all occupiers.

The sustainability drive includes an aim to deliver BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and a WiredScore accreditation of ‘Platinum’ in accordance with the ESG objectives for the project.

Joe Weilding, of OBI’s building consultancy team, said: “This represents our latest and arguably most exciting redevelopment project on Quay Street. We know about the transformation this will bring to Quay Street as we’ve had both businesses and operators already showing their interest for the refurbished building.

“The building has already been stripped out and we are due to deliver the final phase in the New Year.”

Nick Lloyd, from Urbana, said: “Given the excellent location, prominent corner position and a refurbishment and repositioning design centred around occupier demands, sustainability and the activation of both the Quay Street and Byrom Street frontages we are really excited about the potential and impact for 17 Quay Street and look forward to delivering it alongside OBI and our local professional team during 2023.“

The core design team, headed by OBI’s building consultancy team, includes 3DReid as architect, MEP Design as the M&E consultant and Tier Consult as structural engineers. Element Sustainability has also been appointed as sustainability consultant.

Works are due to complete in the fourth quarter of 2023.