ID Manchester work carries £1.5bn price tag

A team featuring Stanhope is expected to be formally confirmed next week as the winner of a scheme to develop a £1.5bn ‘innovation district’ in the middle of Manchester.

The developer, best known for its work in London, has teamed up with Bruntwood SciTech which is a 50:50 joint venture between the Manchester developer and Legal & General.

id manchester

How the scheme might look

An 18-acre site next to the city’s Piccadilly station has been earmarked for development by Manchester University under an initiative called ID Manchester.

The Stanhope team is now expected to form a JV with the university for a scheme that will take 15 years to build. A winner had been expected last autumn but the bidding process was delayed by the pandemic.

The JV will draw up a fresh masterplan for the site and be responsible for piloting the scheme through planning, carrying out all infrastructure work and building the job out. It will also be tasked with securing tenants.

Earlier this year Bruntwood SciTech bought the Melbourn Science Park on the outskirts of Cambridge while Bruntwood is behind the redevelopment of the former BBC building on the city’s Oxford Road into a digital and tech hub called Circle Square.

The Stanhope team is understood to have beaten remaining bidder, a pairing of Peel, which has previously concentrated on neighbouring Salford with the MediaCity development as well as the Liverpool Waters scheme, and Manchester firm Urban Splash for the job.

More than 4m sq ft of mixed-use space is available for development and the university’s grade-II listed Sackville Street building could also be re-purposed.

The focus will be on attracting science, research, development, cultural, and tech companies, along with some residential development.

Other firms whose bids fell earlier on in the race included Morgan Sindall-owned Muse, Henry Boot, Singapore-based investor Mapletree and Beijing Construction Engineering Group, the Chinese developer and builder behind the £1bn Airport City scheme to overhaul Manchester Airport.