Plans unveiled at MIPIM today by Ask Real Estate Limited (AREL) and SimpsonHaugh and Partners reveal the vision for the former Bauer Millett showrooms in Manchester.

A 40-storey landmark residential tower providing around 350 new apartments is proposed. Sitting beside the Hilton Tower, this high quality private space will have a southern aspect and offers great views across the city. To support Manchester’s continued economic growth, a 240,000 sq ft Grade A 14 storey office building is also planned together with exciting new retail floorspace for bars, restaurants and shops bringing people back in to the arches and creating an active frontage along Great Bridgewater Street.

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

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

The announcement today confirms that over 750,000 sq ft of prime new residential and commercial accommodation will be brought forward in a partnership between Ask, Manchester City Council (MCC), Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Manchester Central.

AREL acquired the 1.74 acre Bauer Millett showrooms almost a year ago to the day and have been working with architect Ian Simpson to develop a ground-breaking, mixed-use scheme adjacent to Beetham Tower and Manchester Central.

Commenting on the plans ahead of a Manchester Pavilion presentation at MIPIM today John Hughes, AREL Managing Director, said: “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.”

Ian Simpson added: “Found Space is particularly exciting as it’s a space which we have discovered.

“It’s about connecting a part of the city with the wider context. It will also be a great and public place which people will like and enjoy.”