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Is the restoration of a ‘Mancunian Icon’ under threat?

Changes in who will redevelop The Rylands Building have created potential delays.
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The Rylands Building

The project to breathe new life into a Mancunian icon has been shaken up after reportedly ditching contractors hired to redevelop a grade-II listed building.

The Rylands Building, on Market Street in the city centre, was last used as a Debenhams store but closed in late 2020.

The Rylands Building

The Rylands Building
Impressive CGI’s of how the building could look

It is owned by German firm AM Alpha, who unveiled plans to transform the 1930s art deco landmark into an office, shopping, and dining space with a new four-storey rooftop extension.

Initially, it’s understood AM Alpha appointed Russell WBHO to carry out the work.

Potential delays

The Rylands Building
CGI’s of the proposed improvements – are they now at risk?

However, reports from property news site Place North West suggest the contractor has been ditched by AM Alpha and Greater Manchester’s Domis will take it on instead.

Those reports have now been confirmed to I Love MCR by a source familiar with the project.

It means there could be delays in completing the build, which was initially expected to be completed in early 2025.

A troubled start

Already, the redevelopment has had a troubled start, drawing the ire of senior Manchester councillor Pat Karney over graffiti daubed on the hoardings outside.

Now, he’s set out an ultimatum to AM Alpha.

“We had a report from our officers that they had two weeks to take the graffiti off the hoarding.

“It’s a lousy advert for the city,” he said.

“That message has been sent to the owners and if they do not do it, the council will do it and send them a bill. We will not allow this development to let Manchester down and make it look like a shanty town.”

What’s planned for the Rylands building?

Developers say: “Rylands will be sensitively restored to its elegant past. The building will comprise workspace, retail and leisure, creating an exciting new destination in Central Manchester.

“Rylands will provide a wide range of workspace from the largest single floor-plates in Manchester to executive suites.

“The building will provide a range of exciting retail, leisure and arcade opportunities to create a sense of place and destination”

We can’t wait to see the building restored to its former glory.

AM Alpha, Domis, and Russell WBHO were all contacted for comment.

You can find out more about the Rylands Building redevelopment by clicking here

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