Pop-up and semi-permanent leisure and retail units could occupy a vacant courtyard around Manchester Technology Centre and Oxford Road’s Mancunian Way.
Bruntwood has submitted plans to Manchester City Council for the concept, which would act as a precursor for the retail offering at its £750 million Circle Square development.
The firm, which is delivering Circle Square alongside Select Property Group, is proposing a total of 12 units which will be available on flexible and affordable leases for both start-up businesses and established traders.
The team behind the Bruntwood’s iconic Northern Quarter shopping emporium ‘Afflecks’ would curate, operate and manage the complex, which is due to launch in late September.
One unit in the scheme is already said to be earmarked for an independent coffee house operator, and another for a nano-brewery.
A further four food and drink outlets would be created within the project, along with three retail concession stands and three ‘container-style’ retail units.
Toby Sproll, head of retail and leisure at Bruntwood, says: “Creating a sense of place is essential to our vision for Circle Square. We want to attract a mix of makers, operators, innovators and start-ups, providing them with the opportunity to expand their existing offer or even try something a little different.
“Ever-evolving, this scheme will provide a much needed boost to the existing retail and leisure offer on Oxford Road – not only to support the thriving 130,000 strong population of students, workers and residents on Corridor Manchester, but also to make this a destination for people to visit when out and about in the city.
“A five-minute walk away along Oxford Road we’re already on-site with the 40,000 sq ft ‘University Green’, which forms part of the University’s £1 billion Campus Masterplan and redevelopment. The 12 units will provide new spaces in which to socialise, dine and shop and complement this exciting offer at Circle Square.”
Once complete, the whole Circle Square project will bring more than 1m sq ft of commercial office space; 1,281 new homes; 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space for shops, studios, bars and restaurants; a multi-storey car park and two hotels to the city centre area.
The buildings will also be centred around 250,000 sq ft of public realm.
By early 2020 more than 60% of the masterplan is expected to be finished, and Select Property Group’s development of 604 student apartments is on course to complete later this year.