Manchester’s skyline is set to transform over the next 12 months

Despite Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, Manchester’s construction boom looks set to continue into 2022.

Skyscrapers have sprouted up in and around the city center at a phenomenal rate for almost a decade.

Investors are attracted by the region’s impressive economic growth – among the fastest in the UK – large candidate population and worldwide reputation for cultural and leisure attractions.

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In 2019, it looked like it could catch up as the number of new construction fell by half.

But by 2020, the industry was at full throttle again, even with the disruption caused by Covid-19, and nearly 5,000 homes were completed – the highest ever in a single year.

And looking ahead, housing development looks set to continue as the primary driver of construction with applications in the pipeline for more than 2,800 potential new homes.

Here, MEN are looking at some of the buildings that will change the city skyline again in the next twelve months.

New Victoria

CGI of what New Victoria could look like

One development that many people may notice taking shape as they drive into town along Cheetham Hill Road is ‘New Victoria’.

The £ 185 million plan will provide 520 apartments spread over two towers, one on 25 floors and the other on 20 floors, and an eight-storey office building.

The place could not be more prominent, adjacent to Victoria Railway and Metrolink station.

The build-to-rent project, led by developer Muse in collaboration with Network Rail and Manchester City Council, will also create a new public area, retail units and a fitness center.

It was approved in 2016 and is funded by Pension Insurance Corporation.

It is expected to be completed in 2024.

Mayfield Park

One of the most talked about projects in the recent history of Manchester city center.

Mayfield’s ambition is quite simple – get people to turn left instead of right when they get out of Piccadilly station.

Scratches have already been made, as Mayfield Depot has been reused to host some of the city’s biggest music and art events, while ‘Escape to Freight Island’ has proven to be a popular food and beverage destination.

But the permanent change of landscape will mean that the city center’s first public park in 100 years will have to be built.

Construction on the 6.5-hectare site is well under way with hopes that it will open in 2022.

The core of the project is the work of bringing the Medlock River back into use, much of which has remained hidden under a culvert for more than five decades.

Two commercial buildings and a multi-storey car park will also be built in the first phase of development.

Inlet between the Mancunian Way and the busiest train station in the north, Mayfield is a place that will be overlooked by millions of visitors each year.

It is hoped that it will become one of Manchester’s landmark destinations.

The factory

Artist impression of revised plans for The Factory, released in 2018

We’ve been here before, but the new date for the completion of Manchester’s highly hyped new art venue The Factory is the end of 2022.

The building has been hit by a number of setbacks – not least covid – including several demands to change the design.

The most recent change involved a decision to change the clothing to address fire safety concerns in April.

Manchester Council executives insisted the adjustments would not add extra cost to a project which has risen from £ 110m to £ 186m.

The factory has been heralded by backers – especially the former head of the council Sir Richard Leese – as a landmark new art institution for the North.

It will also be the permanent home of the Manchester International Festival.

The Cross Central

New Cross Central is one of the new developments to open in a “lost” Manchester neighborhood

The first of a series of regeneration developments is now beginning to cross the finish line in New Cross.

The neighborhood, between Ancoats and NOMA, was once a well-known part of Manchester city center geography.

But in recent decades, it fell off the map as much of the land became vacant or used as surface parking lots.

Now a long-standing vision that it must be brought back to life begins to take shape.

The city’s first Hampton by Hilton opened on Rochdale Road last year, and a host of residential buildings are in the making.

Among the most significant is the New Cross Central from the Far East Consortium – the Hong Kong-owned company that has formed the ‘Victoria North’ joint venture with the Manchester Council of £ 1 billion.

The 80-home scheme peaked earlier this month, and according to Insider Media, 70 percent of the homes have already been sold.

Renaissance Hotel

The Ramada Renaissance Hotel has been abandoned for some time

The £ 200 million renovation of the Renaissance Hotel at the end of Deansgate is a development that will raise eyebrows in more ways than one.

Plans to give the infamous eye ulcer a facelift and return it for use as a hotel were only revealed in March.

Manchester-based firm Property Alliance Group (PAG) reportedly bought the site after forming a joint venture with investor Starwood Capital Group for an undisclosed amount.

Instead of tearing down and rebuilding, PAG put forward a proposal to preserve the hotel and renovate it.

The second phase of the project will involve building a 27-storey “sloping” tower

The plans will minimize waste and production of new materials, which means that approximately 54 percent of the ’embedded carbon’ in the building can be saved, says PAG.

The second phase of the project will involve building a 27-storey tower next to the hotel to provide about 300 apartments.

Artist impressions show the building with a steep design angled towards the sky to allow for large roof gardens.


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