With UK commercial property transactions reaching their highest level since the credit crunch, this raises the question as to how the UK, and more specifically, Manchester are going to deal with the increase in demand. This is of particular relevance given that, according to the latest sector market survey report, available space has fallen for the ninth consecutive period.
According to real estate consultants, many commercial properties have recently been sold with a view to being occupied for alternative residential use. However, whether this can be coined as the reason for the supply/demand deficit remains to be seen, particularly as residential properties continue to be converted into mixed use or commercial properties – and the numbers are increasing.
One such example is Bruntwood Hall; plans to convert the 19th century mansion into a boutique hotel have been given the ‘go-ahead’ from Stockport Council. Bruntwood Hall will also have a restaurant, cocktail bar, spa and private dining rooms once completed.
Whatever the root of the supply/demand deficit, it would appear Manchester has found a solution to the problem: a vertical village. Town hall bosses have agreed a major regeneration project for the City Centre, planning ambitious developments over the next five years.
Plans will eventually total billions of pounds; the regeneration will include new neighbourhoods, skyscrapers, shops, offices and upgrades to attractions, transport links and public spaces. More excitingly, the development at the old Granada Studios is set to see towers potentially bigger than Beetham and promises to be a neighbourhood of enterprise, culture and living.
With plans spanning from Piccadilly, to Canal Street to Salford, what will be intriguing to see is how the council will procure mass participation. It is already a concern that businesses holding up the Cornbrook redevelopment may face compulsory purchase orders – so literally, let’s watch this space!