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Important projects greenlit in Manchester, London.

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40-story tower (center) set to take shape on a 1.5-acre site bounded by 201 Deansgate, Jackson’s Row, Bottle Street and Southmill Street in Manchester; image from Hodder + Partners

It’s a Go for Controversial Manchester Tower Plan

A controversial, 40-story mixed-use tower developed by former soccer players Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2017), along with other investors, is expected to start construction this year and be finished in 2023 in Manchester, Manchester Evening News reported in January.

Neville and Giggs partnered with Manchester City Council and Singaporean investor Rowsley to form St Michael’s Partnership, which announced in January it had tapped Laing O’Rourke as general contractor. In the works for at least six years, the original plan was for two, 29- and 39-story black towers by Make Architects and would have meant demolishing the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub and Bootle Street Police Station. The revised plan, by architect Hodder + Partners, will incorporate the façades of the historic structures into a “lozenge-shaped,” bronze-clad tower with a hotel, 189 apartments and 163,000 ft2 for offices, retail and restaurants.

London

Official Approves Five-Tower Project Over Objections

U.K. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, overruling his own planning inspector, has given his approval for a GBP1-billion (US$1.3-billion) mixed-use project in East London’s Isle of Dogs, Architects’ Journal reported in January. The project, known as the Westferry Printworks development, would bring five stepped towers — the tallest standing 44 stories — to the area. It would include 1,524 residential units, including 282 “affordable” homes, and shops, banks, bars, offices and restaurants. Planning Inspector David Prentis had released a report critical of the design for multiple reasons and urged Jenrick to deny the application. In a letter sent in mid-January, however, a spokesperson said that, while Jenrick agreed with some of the points raised by Prentiss, he disagreed with the inspector’s conclusion and recommendation, adding that “the identified harms. . . are outweighed by the benefits of the proposal   ” The project is being designed by PLP Architecture.

39-Story Tower in Docklands Wins Approval

The Tower Hamlets Council has approved plans to redevelop Quay House at Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) reported in February, citing Architect’s Journal. Quay House, planned as a 39-story tower designed by SimpsonHaugh, got the go-ahead in place of what was originally a much-taller project that was rejected due to fears of overdevelopment. The new design will include a 400-room hotel and 279 serviced apartments, a podium at its base and flush windows and polished concrete.

Developers Rockwell and Firethorn acquired the site for a reported GBP26 million (US$33.6 million) in October 2019.

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