Tony Wilson once said, “There is no celebrity quite as powerful as the local, homegrown celebrity.” This is set to be proven if plans for a new apartment scheme get the go ahead – 78 carbon neutral apartments which will be adorned with a huge image of the music mogul down the whole length of one side and a 4,500 sq ft rooftop garden. It’s the ultimate tribute to the man they called Mr Manchester.
The plans are to convert two former Victorian Warehouses – 11 Bloom Street and Grade II listed Mindel House on Minshull Street – into state-of-the-art accommodation. As co-founder of Factory Records, Tony Wilson helped fund the conversion of an old industrial yacht shop into the Hacienda nightclub – so this is an attempt at urban regeneration he may well have approved of.
Manchester City Council have received the planning application from property developers Beech Holdings, who have built a reputation for transforming old, unloved and disused buildings which may have lain empty for many years, into affordable residential apartments with low energy bills.
Beech aim to preserve the character of these red brick buildings whilst also unlocking their modern potential. The apartments will be carbon neutral and have underfloor heating, air source heat pumps and heat recovery systems to maintain low running costs and sustainability.
The development as a whole may become home to some of the greatest gardens in Manchester. Beech have big ambitions for the 4,500 sq ft of roof space, turning it into an amenity garden with unique views across the city centre. The size makes it more like a park and external power sockets are even on the cards, creating an outdoor area where residents can plug in their laptops, work and socialise.
If planning permission is approved, the scheme will be converted and fully tenanted in approximately 12 months – not bad going for Beech Holdings who only bought 11 Bloom Street in May this year.