Manchester’s First Street reaches practical completion

The initial phase of the £500m First Street scheme has achieved practical completion this week and two principle retail occupiers have also been announced.

The flagship regeneration development, which occupies a prominent position marking the southern gateway into the city, has been delivered in partnership between Manchester City Council and Ask Property Developments.

Sainsbury and Pizza Express have this week confirmed as scheme tenants alongside a raft of independent leisure and retail operators which are likely to be announced in the coming weeks.

Scheme construction has been led by main contractor Carillion, with Wates Construction responsible for the creation of HOME, Manchester’s new contemporary theatre for film, art and theatre. HOME has its public opening over the late May bank holiday weekend, led by patron Danny Boyle. Designed by Mecanoo, HOME also received £5m funding from Arts Council England Lottery funding and support from the Garfield Weston Foundation and The Granada Foundation.

Commenting on completion Ask’s Managing Director, John Hughes said: “Achieving practical completion is a milestone which the whole team can be very proud to reach. Ask and Manchester City Council had an ambitious vision to deliver a new neighbourhood for the southern side of the City and the realisation of that vision is the development of this world-class cultural and business quarter.

“The fact that such prominent firms have chosen Number One First Street as the ideal place to re-locate their business underlines the high standard of this scheme. With the launch of both the new Melia INNSIDE Hotel and Q-Park, as well as the strength of retail enquiries, it really is shaping up to become the best space to work, live and play in the City.

“The launch of HOME over the late May bank holiday weekend provides a great opportunity to celebrate this achievement and we welcome everyone to join us for First Street’s celebratory launch street party on Sunday 24th May.”

Phase one of First Street also includes Number One First Street, the 180,000 sq ft Grade A BREEAM Excellent office development. Companies which now occupy the building include: Engineering service provider Jacobs; Digital marketing consultancy Amaze; Media publishing company Auto Trader; Ford Credit Europe and Gazprom.

The UK’s first Melia INNSIDE hotel also launches in May providing a 208 bedroom, 4 star hotel and European tapas restaurant called Street on First. A 279 room Vita luxury student accommodation development, a 700 space Q-Park multi-storey car park complete the scheme alongside nine retail, leisure and food units fronting a new public square.

The next phase of development across First Street consisting of a second major Grade A office building is likely to commence towards the end of this year and on final completion the above scheme will deliver over 2.5 million sq ft of new development in Manchester.