Work has started on-site at Redfern, a Grade II listed former warehouse and office block in Manchester City centre, only a month after planning permission for redevelopment was secured.
Once completed, Redfern will offer over 50,000 sq. ft. of Grade A modern office space as well as 7,600 sq. ft. of mixed retail and leisure space spread across three ground-floor units.
Redfern is the latest listed building in NOMA to be redeveloped into modern office space. Hanover, where global e-commerce giant Amazon announced it would be opening its first UK headquarters outside of London, completed late last year, while nearby Dantzic is on track for completion in Spring this year. Federation completed in 2017.
Manchester-based contractor Russells Construction, which also worked on Federation, Dantzic and Hanover, will lead the construction work. Director Gareth Russell said: “Redfern is now our third project at NOMA and underlines Russells’ experience in dealing with highly complex schemes such as redeveloping listed buildings into Grade A office space. We look forward to bringing the building back to life, with work starting just before we achieve practical completion at Dantzic.”
Under the design by architect Sheppard Robson, Redfern’s recognisable redbrick façade will be maintained. Internally, industrial-chic fittings such as exposed air ducts and suspended lighting will help appeal to tech workers and creatives who increasingly power Manchester’s economy, while a new rooftop terrace at Redfern will create a space where they can relax and socialise.
The ground-floor retail and leisure units will open up onto Sadler’s Yard, Manchester’s newest public square and home to the Pilcrow, a craft beer pub hand-built by the local community.
Redfern was previously host of PLANT NOMA, a community workshop and ‘village hall’, which has now relocated to Old Bank on the other side of Sadler’s Yard.
In total, NOMA will provide 2.5 million sq. ft. of both new-build and renovated office space at various price points, situated alongside housing, public realm as well as retail and leisure opportunities.
The neighbourhood has been tipped as one of the UK’s first ‘innovation districts’ by the Brookings Institute, a leading US think-tank, thanks to the scheme’s mix of high-quality office space and housing, both seen as crucial to helping drive Manchester’s future growth.
Stephen Bradley, senior asset manager at Hermes Investment Management, said: “Starting on-site at Redfern just a month after getting planning permission signals our seriousness in pushing ahead with progress at NOMA, building on the momentum behind the neighbourhood. Danztic, another listed building, will be completing this spring, bringing forward yet more quality office space for Manchester and we will shortly be outlining our plans for new build offices as well.”
Paul Pavia, head of development at MEPC, said:“With our plans for new office buildings at NOMA gathering pace it is great news that the commitment to invest further in the listed estate is ensuring that when the first new buildings are delivered they will be complementing a listed estate already home to a thriving business community.”
James Devany, director at JLL, said: “The major creative and tech occupiers reshaping the world economy see the benefits in not only new build office space but also carefully restored heritage building that keep their character while meeting the needs of modern work. Redfern will be a great addition to NOMA and Manchester more widely.”
Peter Gallagher, director at Colliers, said: “Manchester city centre witnessed record office take up last year thanks largely to the ongoing growth of the tech and creative sectors and as a global trend we are seeing huge appetite for re-purposed historic buildings such as Redfern that offer a seductive blend of authenticity with the very best of modern facilities.”
Hermes Investment Management, the £33.5 billion manager, is the investment manager of NOMA, with MEPC acting as development manager.
Workman undertake property and project management across NOMA. Colliers and JLL are retained office agents. Lambert Smith Hampton and Colliers are retained retail and leisure agents.