North West Square | Seven of the most successful real estate stories of 2021

Landsec’s acquisition of U + I might be just what Mayfield needs. Credit: via town planning documents

Dan Whelan

Despite the lingering uncertainty, the Northwest real estate market has seen the trigger build on some key decisions and agreements this year, as the public and private sectors seek to extricate themselves from the pandemic.


Landsec invests £ 635 million

MediaCity at Night, Salford, P.Carousel

Landsec plans to refine the approved plans for the next stage of Media City. Credit: via the carousel

In the space of a week at the beginning of November, Landsec bought U + I and took a majority stake in Media City. The U + I deal allows him to become the lead developer for the much-vaunted Mayfield project in Manchester. The deal with Media City means that Landsec now owns 75% of the commercial program, which is home to the BBC and ITV among others, with Peel L&P retaining a 25% stake.

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Kinrise takes over the Martins Bank Building

Martins Bank building, Kinrise, P Kinrise

Martins Bank Building was built in 1932. Credit: via Kinrise

The developer paid around £ 16million to a Starwood Capital affiliate for the second-tier Water Street building, one of Liverpool’s most beloved structures. Kinrise is making plans for a multi-million pound renovation, adding much-needed Category A office space to the city.

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Partner ID chosen

ID Manchester, P.ashhurst Comms

Bruntwood beat the competition of Peel L&P and Urban Splash. Credit: via Ashurst Communications

The University of Manchester has chosen a joint venture between Bruntwood SciTech and investor Stanhope to deliver the £ 1.5 billion Manchester ID, one of the nation’s most prominent regeneration opportunities. The program will see much of the university’s aging domain redeveloped to provide a 4m² mixed-use program for science, research, development, cultural and technological enterprises.

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Industrial pipeline boost

Parkside Colliery, St Helens, Strategy P.Merrion

The government approved the first phase of Parkside in November. Credit: via Merrion Strategy

After a frustrating delay, the government approved 5.7 m² of industrial space on four projects in St Helens (x2), Bolton and Wigan. The proposals were called because of their position in the green belt, which sparked a public inquiry. As the industrial sector continues to thrive with the growth of e-commerce, such programs could prove essential in creating jobs for the local population.

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Confidence in cohabitation

Union #, Vita Group, P.planning Documents

The pair of towers was approved in 2020. Credit: town planning documents

Manchester is considered by many to be the Petri dish of the new concept of cohabitation. The booming industry received a huge vote of confidence when Cain International and PGIM Real Estate agreed to pay £ 191million to eventually finance the construction of two towers being developed by Vita Group in Enterprise City of Allied London.

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Blackpool’s £ 300million recreation approval

Blackpool Center 768x511

The £ 300million Blackpool Central has a Flying Theater. Credit: via Font Comms

After losing an offer to host the UK’s super casino, Blackpool has taken a big step towards regenerating the site of the former Blackpool Central Station. Among other elements, Nikal’s Blackpool Central includes three indoor entertainment venues, including a 127,000 square foot flying theater. The project is the largest private sector investment in the city in recent memory and is expected to attract an additional 600,000 visitors to the resort each year, boosting the local economy by £ 75million per year. Following the approval of the potentially groundbreaking development, the council’s chief planning officer, Susan Parker, received flowers as a gift for her hard work on the project.

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UNESCO turns its back on Liverpool

3 Graces, Liverpool, P Marketing Liverpool

The jury questioned whether the loss of his WHS was a good or a bad thing. Credit: Place Nord Ouest

In July, the United Nations stripped the city of its World Heritage status – in large part due to the planned £ 5 billion waterfront regeneration by Peel L&P. Commentators were divided in their assessment of UNESCO’s decision; some were satisfied, saying the designation had held back the city’s development, while others saw it as a blow to Liverpool’s reputation.

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