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Ask Developments - Boddington Brewery site revealed

Manchester City Council Agrees A New Development Framework for Ask Developments and Realty Estates Scheme
Joint venture partners Ask Developments and Realty Estates have today (Wednesday) put forward proposals for the former Boddingtons Brewery site to the north of Manchester's city centre in a 250m scheme.

Manchester City Council's Executive Committee agreed the development framework for the three-hectare site, which is set to include primarily offices, leisure and retail facilities with a hotel, cafes, bars and restaurants and residential units, with underground car parking.
The framework also looks into the practicality of using the existing chimney, although it is not a listed structure, as a landmark feature within the development.

The site was acquired in September 2006 with funding provided by HSBC North West Corporate Banking Real Estate team headed by Mr Phil Dare.

The masterplan for the site in conjunction with Manchester City Council and appointed architects HOK has been worked up over the past 12 months to ensure that the site brings forward an employment led mixed-use development with the creation of almost 2,000 jobs.

The 500,000 sq ft office component will be aimed at a range of business occupiers, but catering specifically for the needs of growing, smaller, creative businesses who are being priced out of the traditional city centre market and will offer a mix of commercial floorplate sizes available on both a sale and leasehold basis.

There will also be the creation of a new high-quality public central square within the heart of the development, together with proposals for a new pedestrian approach from New Bridge Street and a landmark mixed-use building at the junction of New Bridge Street and Deansgate to draw people into the heart of the scheme.

Sustainability is also key to the site and the framework highlights the development of low energy use buildings, utilising the existing water supply to the site for the purposes of heating buildings and providing water supplies, as well as the possibility of the inclusion of green walls and roofs to buildings to aid bio-diversity.

Alan Burke, Executive Director at Ask Developments said: "We have worked hard with the City Council to agree an exciting new future for this landmark site that will maximise its economic potential and further strengthen the city centre's offer.

"The locational attributes of the site, including accessibility to the Manchester Evening News Arena, Victoria Station and Deansgate, the heart of the retail core, are all assets we have sought to capitalise on, in bringing forward our development proposals."

Proposals for the former Boddington's site are being co-ordinated with those being brought forward for the wider surrounding area by consultants EDAW in their Strangeways Local Plan. Strangeways has the highest concentration of businesses outside the city centre - more than five per cent of the total number of businesses within the city.

City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: "The Boddington's site, and Strangeways area, represent an important gateway to and from North Manchester. While we deplored the closure of the brewery, we were always adamant that the site would be used to create more jobs. It's very pleasing that 1,850 jobs are forecast, compared to the 123 jobs lost when the brewery closed. Overall these plans represent an outstanding opportunity to drive renewed investment in the area north of the city centre. They will also complement a host of other regeneration initiatives in the surrounding area."

Yousef Tishbi, Managing Director of Realty Estates said "This development will be another major achievement by two Manchester based developers who have, during the past three decades, been actively engaged in revitalising some of the areas of Greater Manchester which had suffered decline through loss of traditional industries. Working closely with Manchester City Council and Ask Developments, we are proud to be associated with this great scheme, which aims at bringing back prosperity and economic regeneration to the area".

The scheme is expected to be built over a 10 year period with detailed planning applications made on a phased basis and work is expected to start on site with the first phase in Summer 2008.


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