£400m First Street shared living development tops out

The Square Gardens site

The £400m Square Gardens shared living scheme in Manchester’s First Street has topped out.

Liverpool developer, George Downing, was joined by the leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Bev Craig, at the ceremony for the development which will bring 1,301 new homes to one of Manchester’s fastest growing and vibrant neighbourhood communities, including shared apartments and one-bed studios, together with one- and two-bed apartments.

Amenities and services include a gym, wellness centre and co-working spaces, plus extensive social areas such as lounges, a cinema room and private dining area, all set within the largest private landscaped garden in the city centre.

The topping out ceremony marked developer Downing reaching the highest point in the construction of the Acer Tower – the first phase of the landmark residential development, which is set to be the largest co-living development in the UK.

Downing’s chairman, George Downing, investment director Bay Downing and projects director George Tyson were joined on site by Cllr Craig, alongside Cllr Gavin White, executive member for housing and development and Becca Heron, the city council’s strategic director for growth and development.

Cllr Craig said: “Square Gardens will enhance the growing First Street district and add to its vibrancy. We have an ambitious housing strategy to deliver 36,000 new homes in Manchester by 2032 and this development will play a significant part.”

The scheme, designed by award-winning architects Simpson Haugh Partnership, will boast one of the largest outdoor green spaces in the city. It will also include the addition of more than 140 new trees, which will improve air quality and aid in the wellbeing of the wider First Street community.

Projects director, George Tyson, said: “This is a significant milestone and a fantastic opportunity to see Square Gardens really starting to take shape. We were honoured to have leaders from Manchester City Council join us to celebrate this occasion, which highlights the importance of this development to the city and its community.”

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