Investec to redevelop the Grade II listed building on Deansgate in plans to create Grade A office space and more sustainable retail.
Affectionately known as Kendals, the commanding art deco property is currently home to House of Fraser and has operated as a retail outlet since 1939. Some retail will be retained on the ground floor of the building while the upper floors are redeveloped. Investec also plan to demolish a multi storey car park behind Kendals and redevelop the site into a modern office block.
The removal of the car park is in line with Manchester City Council's zero carbon future, and the redevelopment of the area will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists.
With the High Street failing as a result of the twin threats of e-commerce and the pandemic, Investec are keen to create a more sustainable future for the much loved landmark. Under the plans the building would continue to present a retail profile consistent with the rest of the Deansgate area on its lower floors, with office access in nearby King Street West.
Investec also plan to refit the interior with additional glazing and a rooftop extension. The new design has been created by Sheppard Robson Architects as part of the St Mary's Parsonage Strategic Regeneration Framework, which was adopted in July this year. The proposals are now open for consultation.
Aiding the economic recovery
The scheme could be critical in creating jobs in the local economy with the site expected to support 4,000 jobs including over 400 in retail and provide a £300m cash injection to Manchester city centre.
Investec has said its starting point for the scheme was to celebrate the 'iconic' building and ensure its continued survival at the heart of Deansgate. By pairing the existing art deco structure with a new build demonstrating the best in modern architecture, Investec hopes to create a landmark city centre office campus that reflects current trends for sustainability, flexibility and wellbeing.
Mickey Nurtman, head of structured property finance at Investec, said the project would lead the way in the transformation of the St Mary's Parsonage district.
Despite the prevailing economic conditions and the transformation of work created by the pandemic, Will Lewis, founding director at OBI Property which is acting as commercial agents for the scheme, said that demand for Grade A office space in prime city centre locations remained high. The Kendals redevelopment project is designed to create the kind of high quality office space that prioritises health, wellbeing and amenities that remains attractive.
The new plans are designed to breathe new life into an icon of the Manchester city landscape and secure the long term future of the Grade II listed building.
The project team also includes Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture as heritage advisor; Cundall as sustainability consultant; Deloitte Real Estate as planner; MHBC Cumming as development and project manager, Fairhurst as structural engineer and LAYER as landscape architect.