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14-storey office building planned for Bauer Millet site

A 240,000 sq ft, 14-storey Grade A office building is part of a new vision for the former Bauer Millett site in Manchester.

Plans unveiled by Ask Real Estate Limited (AREL) and SimpsonHaugh and Partners at MIPIM also include a 40-storey residential tower and new retail space for bars, restaurants and shops.

AREL acquired the 1.74-acre Bauer Millett showrooms last year and has been working with architect Ian Simpson to develop the mixed-use scheme adjacent to Beetham Tower and Manchester Central.

A key component of the scheme is said to be improvements to the pedestrian environment along Great Bridgewater Street created by removing sections of the existing bridge, allowing natural light down to street level and creating a “more welcoming place”.

New large areas of public realm will include a new route and vertical circulation linking Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink Stop and Deansgate Rail Station to the city centre via Watson Street.

John Hughes, managing director at AREL says: “Our scheme will be a visionary development, something which only a few years ago, would have been almost impossible to imagine happening outside of London.

“The huge levels of investment we have seen into Manchester’s infrastructure coupled with efforts by the universities to attract and retain talent has seen an upturn in graduate retention and consequently an influx of businesses looking to establish themselves in the city centre.

“In turn this has driven demand for new hotels, retail and leisure outlets – the development of which has boosted the city’s economy.

“These factors mean it is now time for us to unlock previously hidden opportunities and the Bauer Millett showrooms is a strong example of this concept.”