Rylands building set for £70m re-development to “restore former glory”

The building, formerly Debenhams has been sat empty since the chain fell apart in 2021.

The good news is, it’s set to be redeveloped into a shopping arcade on the ground floor.

Upstairs will be offices, with a four storey extension set to be added too.

Developers AM Alpha said the extension was to provide “ten floors of high-quality office space, a shopping arcade and a leisure area, mainly for restaurant businesses, after the refurbishment.”

Works to spruce up the Grade II Listed building have now begun, with ‘main works’ set to start in 2023.

The site is expected to be completed by early 2025.

Built in 1932, the building originally was a warehouse for Textile manufacturer Rylands and Sons.

In the 1950s, it became a department store and stayed that way until Debenhams tanked in 2021.

Planning approval was granted by Manchester City Council in January last year, with a £68.5m re-development set in motion. 

Stephan Schmid, Senior Vice President at AM alpha said: “Working with listed buildings is always a great privilege.

“We are proud to be able to give this historic Manchester landmark a new future and restore Rylands to its former glory in a very sustainable way.

“In this way, we are also helping to achieve Greater Manchester’s 2038 carbon neutrality target.”

The building is to undergo ‘extensive modernisation’ and developers are planning to keep the re-development carbon neutral.

WIll Lewis from OBI said: “It’s fantastic working with AM alpha on such an exciting project in our home town. Rylands is a well-known, impressive building.

“The property is close to bustling areas such as Piccadilly Gardens and the Northern Quarter and will appeal to many local businesses.

“Due to the sought-after location, we already see a lot of interest from potential future tenants.”


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