Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialNews.

MIPIM | 20th Floor Trees & Astonishing MCR Dreams

Jill Burdett and the Mediawall presents daily updates from Cannes

Written by . Published on March 13th 2015.

MIPIM | 20th Floor Trees & Astonishing MCR Dreams



DAY THREE 12/3/2015


Gary Neville gave a bit more detail about the redevelopment of Jackson's Row during his well attended turn at MIPIM.

He also revealed that the city council has completed the deal to buy the former Bootle Street police station meaning the final piece of the development agreement is in place.

Sketches flashed on screen showing some interesting ideas, one, maybe two open squares and residential blocks cut back with green spaces.

Jackson's RowJackson's Row

Neville, said: "Jackson's Row is the connector between Albert Square, Spinningfields and the Convention Centre.

'We want to create new open spaces, people do not want to develop whole sites out, we see the advantage of open space and public realm."

He showed the interior of his apartment on Jordan Street which seems to be a multi purpose Home/meeting place/event space/office and believes more people want this multi-functional environment.

He also believes more families could move back in to Manchester but only if they have access to open space.

He said: "We want to create spaces where there are gardens in the sky. Every building that gets built in Manchester now should have open space at the top. The engineers need to be more inventive on where they put the plant so the roof  can be used as a garden." 

Neville flew into Nice from London where he had been commenting for Sky on the previous night's Chelsea game and his opening gambit was:"it's quite unusual to see English people enjoying themselves in Europe." 

Not content with property development, Hotel Football, the Stock Exchange, Jackson's Row and Jordan Street with construction through his company Zerum,  Neville is now looking to enter the digital fray. He said: "It is so crucial to so many things and we want a piece of that. We have found a Manchester based company that I think will, do well and are acquiring that." 

Not got time to get match fit? Neville reckons he and Giggsy have designed the ultimate 30 minute work-out which will be taught at the Stock Exchange gym.

He said:" life is so fast people don't have time to drive 30 minutes to a gym, spend 45 minutes or an hour going through a routine and then get home again. We have developed a fitness programme which you can do then be back in your meeting." 

DAY TWO 11/3/2015


The private rented sector, as in big blocks of purpose built rental stock, owned by one institution and managed for long term investment, was the order of the day in Cannes today.

It started early with a breakfast in the Manchester Bar organised by managing agents Urban Bubble who have been helping a number of existing blocks to raise standards over the last couple of years.

The debate was about not just what tenants want, good location, good price and good security, but what they say they are not that bothered about, swimming pools and cinemas.

And crucially about how these big new schemes (400 units seems to be the most efficient number when it comes to management and yields and all the things the funds are looking for) are going to be funded.

A couple of such schemes are already in the offing, Moda Living's chunky 480 apartments with roof top garden at NOMA, the 37 storey tower on Whitworth Street revealed by Confidential last week, all the Manchester Life buildings, bar Murray's Mills and Fred Done's Trinity Scheme which got planning last week.

The common denominator for PRS would seem to be simple.

Design well planned spacious homes, build them well and make them efficient and secure, fill them he, with people who want long term tenancies and time to put down roots and manage the buildings well.

The amenity add-ons of gyms and roof top gardens and swimming pools could and should alter from scheme to scheme offering different levels of affordability.

If you do the basics really really well and that includes the look of the building, how it sits in its place, creative common areas and efficiency then the rest can follow.

Interesting that Argent is looking to enter the long term rental market in Manchester after hooking up with US PRS experts The Related Group.

Boss David Partridge told Confidential that he was keen to make a start as soon as a suitable site could be identified and was speaking to Manchester Place about potential options around the city.

Argent (1 St Peter's Square, Airport City, One Piccadilly) says the Related group which manages 55,000 rental,homes across the US has the appetite to come to the UK and that means Manchester as well as London.

Partridge said: "I think anyone who goes into PRS blind will come unstuck. You have to link with people who have done it before. Related have been doing it for 43 years, so they know something about the platforms and the systems you have to have in place to make large scale rental work and they are prepared to be patient in the early days.

"They started off providing very very good social housing and still retain some of that but at the same time are developing the very high end Hudson Yards scheme in New York."

Vertical city

Mike Ingall of Allied London caused a stir on the Manchester stand when images of an imagined vertical village popped up on screen during his St John's presentation.

Twisting towers of accommodation, retail, education, leisure, all in one vertical place.

These are the imagined concepts for the fringe areas of the St John's Quarter area, the plots by the ring road where if you are going to build a tower it may we well be a bonkers one.

Dreaming dreams of St John's QuarterDreaming dreams of St John's Quarter

Dreaming dreams of St John's QuarterDreaming dreams of St John's Quarter

Dreaming dreams of St John's Quarter

Dreaming dreams of St John's Quarter


Best stand at MIPIM this year? Berlin. With a terrace overlooking the bay and a never ending supply of green chartreuse cocktails.


Day Two in the morning

The stats produced at MIPIM on Day One were a bit mind boggling. New office buildings at NOMA going for planning next month, the 458 resi units at Moda Living, Hanover House, the lovely old building opposite Victoria Station to become a mix of offices and retail space, they have apparently exchanged contracts on City Buildings and there's to be a much welcome new city square.

And that was just the morning.

In the afternoon the stats got even more impressive. £2.5b investment in The Corridor, to connect new start up companies and tap into innovation from the university, and the huge ambition for Alderley Park, the joint venture between Manchester Science Parks, the city Council and Cheshire East.

This shift to science not only harnesses the talent and innovation being delivered by the Universities  it manages to diversify the city away from professional services and property and offer some protection against crashes and more general economic downturn.

Manchester was named last year as European City of Science, the first UK City to get the title and it's making the most if its tenure until the end of 2016.

Part of the deal is that it hosts ESOF - the EuroScience Open Forum. Never heard of it? No, me neither but it was all the talk at MIPIM on Day One.

To quote: "A showcase for global research, innovation and technology bringing together over 4,500 leading thinkers innovators, Nobel Laureates, policy makers, researchers, academics and journalists from over 80 countries."

What can I tell you, the geeks are coming and we should welcome them with open arms.

The forum is July 2016 and the city's ambition is to involve not only the Universities and the colleges but school kids of all ages in events and activities and learning about science and what it means in an every day context.

Sir Howard Bernstein is all for making science cool. He told a panel audience: "We have to start to recognise the economic power  of science and innovation. We want the science forum to be a platform for young people to be more involved."



DAY ONE 10/3/2015 

SO MIPIM 2015 started with a sober warning from Sir Howard to the 70 odd partner delegates to work hard and to remember that they are Manchester's representatives on the world stage and please behave. 

A cautious opening night in the chic Manchester Villa given that the world and his wife are beating a path to the city's gates clutching bags of money and waving dubious development plans.  

The Manchester Stand


The Manchester Stand

The reason becomes clear with news that the  BBC's One Show is in Cannes for the week and you can bet they will be more interested in the amount of ‘networking’ done over lunch than the investment proposals, the international interest in the UK and the amount of collaboration and general let's work together air that's going on. 

"Everyone is terrified of being filmed with a glass in their hand,"  said one nervy suit clutching an orange juice and looking over his shoulder.  


"For God's sake put it down, the utterly and always sober BBC are nearby."

The BBC crew has apparently been given the go ahead to film in the Manchester Bar on Wednesday night. Which is probably fine given that most people will be at another venue learning a little more about Manchester Life. 

You have been warned @mcrmipim 

An acre of land on the more challenging edge of Manchester is now £5m.

Pause for a second and let that sink in.

Eighteen months ago it was probably more like £1m

Which is great if you own an open surface car park or a derelict shop, not so good if you are a developer looking to build a high quality residential scheme with spacious homes, good amenities and open spaces. 

Which means it's not so good for the long term ambition and success of the city.

At £5m you are going to have to go very tall to make the scheme stack up, so to speak. In otherwords make a profit for the developer. This is fine for the city core, but not appropriate for Ancoats or its immediate fringe or other areas such as the Irk Valley. 

So how do you curtail the gold rush? 

I'm told a report to the City Council's executive next week will spell out a new design guide (as revealed to  Confidential by Sir Richard last week) that will insist on new standards of space and quality. Who exactly has drawn this up is not clear but it's a welcome move. 

The other ace is to draw up development frameworks for all the remaining key areas of the city fringe, the Irk Valley, New Cross, Holt Town etc, so anyone coming in will have to deliver to that framework. 

As one city insider said: "We have to find a way to suppress values or it is going to frustrate development. We also want to make sure that the schemes that do go forward are really high quality." 

Confidential thinks this is a grand idea. 

As a MIPIM veteran it's interesting to talk to some of the newbies and find out what made them join the Manchester delegation and invest £5k plus flights plus accommodation plus four days of their lives they will never get back in the property fest.

Damien Flood of developers Real Estate, is one such and keen to raise the company profile. They have just bought Alexandra House on the Hale / Altrincham border with plans to demolish the 1960s office block and build a scheme of 40 odd apartments. 

They have also just acquired a building on Green Walk in Bowdon (the old Transform Clinic) with plans for more residential. 

Not really core Manchester though is it? 

He is though nephew of Brendon Flood who along with Mr Neville and Mr Giggs has a large interest in the Bootle Street re-development of the former Police HQ which is going to be the focus of a lot of attention come the end of the week. 

Real Estate are big property owners and hold assets all over the place from large numbers of managedrental properties to quirky stock in the Northern Quarter. 

"We've been going five years now and have some interesting schemes. We are here to talk to contractors to see who can help us deliver them, " said Damien. 

Capital and Centric's Tim Heatley is never one to refuse a good round table discussion. In Insider's  investment guide @mcrmipim he's on almost every page. Rumours he's been called in to the G8 are proving hard to confirm.

Meanwhile everybody was wondering when Tony Wilson received his posthumous knighthood... and even would he have wanted one. 

So when did this happen?

A notice at MIPIM. So when did this happen?


MIPIMMANCHESTER property folk head out to Cannes for the annual spring break that is MIPIM, the heavyweight property convention. 

Confidential is covering the extravaganza better than ever including, for the first time, a dedicated mediawall - a digital town crier across social media platforms that continuously updates. The best thing is to click on the link above or below and then simply enjoy.  

Seventy private sector partners, eleven more than last year, are paying to be part of the Manchester gang and range from the big boys like Bruntwood and Argent to Airport City and NOMA and newbies Renaker Build, Jones Lang LaSalle and Russells Construction.

Bruntwood's splendid City Tower

City Tower redeveloped by Bruntwoods, now owned by Schroder

The three words for the three Manchester stand days are: Head  - smart cities and science;  Hand  - Airport City and the enterprise, culture and living area of St John’s: Heart – Manchester Place and Gary Neville talking about ‘Manchester and Me’.

The Manchester stand sessions take place at 10.30 and 15.30 each day (09.30 and 14.30 GMT). The sessions will be streamed live here and at here.

The full programme of events organised by Manchester can be seen here.

There had been an expectation that the first PRS schemes in Manchester Life would be announced but while the full design team was formally announced last week there is no clear time table for the first schemes.

Confidential is out at MIPIM and will be filing each day from the Croisette while sipping a glass of rose.



St Peter's Square


St Peter's Square

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

46 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Alex24March 9th 2015.

Should be a very interesting year with the renewed optimism and scores of new proposals throughout the city centre

AnonymousMarch 10th 2015.

From 2005 to 2009 I was the Manchester taxi driver at Mipim ,does anyone take a cab these days ?304

DarrenMarch 11th 2015.

Wow! That tower has to happen. That's ambition. That's confidence.

AnonymousMarch 11th 2015.

I really like this design. Here's hoping it comes to fruition.

AnonymousMarch 11th 2015.

Up the 'burbs.

AnonymousMarch 12th 2015.

Hope it happens..LOTS of new buildings in the pipeline again, which is good...

3 Responses: Reply To This...
DarrenMarch 13th 2015.

And now a £1 billion development from peel in the pipeline with Trafford Waters.

AnonymousMarch 13th 2015.

Have seen Trafford Waters in paper...The traffic is already dire around there, so will have to consider surely?

DarrenMarch 13th 2015.

They would have to have some radical plans to stop this area being a permanent car park. If they can do something to sort that out it'll be great.

AnonymousMarch 13th 2015.

Great design and I love the idea of a vertical village! Best idea for Manchester yet, I hope this happens!

Kevin PeelMarch 13th 2015.

Nothing bonkers about trees in the sky - is Mike going to put his money where his mouth is and build these? We'll certainly support him if he does!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mark FullerMarch 14th 2015.

Very pleasing to see the positive response to this fantastic concept for a vertical village here at Mancon. The author seemed ambivalent at best, with her "bonkers" put down though.

AnonymousMarch 13th 2015.

I hope the trees in the sky have squirrels and birds in them or it just won't be realistic.

SquirrelitoMarch 13th 2015.

I know this is only a vision...so far. But what a vision it would be. And a massive catalyst for Middlewood Locks and Ordsall as well as drawing the city centre right out past Castlefield and anchoring St Johns. They could have sky high refuge for red (and blue) squirrels in them thar trees. Bring it on.

AnonymousMarch 14th 2015.

Very interesting and informative article.

Ghostly TomMarch 14th 2015.

Stunning looking development. Would put Manchester firmly on the world architectural map. Well we are there already but for our Victorian offerings. And did I hear somewhere that Mr Neville will keep the Booth Street police station building as part of that development? Good if he does, it really adds to the view along Booth Street.

Eugene Spain)March 14th 2015.

What a pity the UK outside London is so conservative when it comes to new buildings and developmments.Think The Sydney Opera house,The Burj Khalifa in Dubai,The Guggenheim in Bilbao,all iconic buildings where people all around the world associate those buildings with those cities.That is what the village in the sky would do for Manchester,instantly recognisable all around the world.What a pity it will never get built.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 14th 2015.

simply a matter of economics Eugene. Nothing to do with being conservative.

AnonymousMarch 14th 2015.

Economics? The economics of what? The Guggenheim was built in Bilbao for economic reasons in your head,

AnonymousMarch 14th 2015.

Anon, above. You need to make a distinction between private development for profit such as the subject of this article and publicly funded baubles intended as a keystone of cultural-led regeneration. Manchester has a couple at Salford Quays which I'm sure played their part in attracting Mediacity. Projects like this vertical village need to stack up commercially. If they don't, they will my be built. It's as simple as that.

AnonymousMarch 14th 2015.

*wont be built

Mark FullerMarch 15th 2015.

Eugene, the conservatism you speak of is born out of a collective lack of will and confidence in ourselves as a city, which we are just beginning to shake off, after decades of cultural propaganda{other ranters have also alluded to this} telling us how grim up north it is, how appalling the weather is, how deprived, dour miserable and inadequate we are, how fat,drunk and stoned we are etc. The result is a kind of collective self loathing, which pours scorn on any or most attempts to break the mold, be bold and break the spell spun by the elites to dumb us down and ensure that we are less than we could and should be. Whether Alliance London's idea becomes a reality, is not just down to economics. It's also about the city really valuing and believing in itself, and having the will to succeed.

Eugene Spain)March 14th 2015.

ANONYMOUS i realise that my friend,but can you imagine what the payback would be for future investment for the city.The only city that seems to go from strength to strength in the UK is London,and I think that is unacceptable in a country of 60 million inhabitants.My eyes have been opened since I retired to Spain,when I go to different cities and see the wonderful buildings in Madrid,Barcelona,Valencia,Seville,Murcia,etc etc. I would put buildings in my beloved Manchester very safe at best.Granted it has changed drastically over the last 20 years,but still lags well behind. Munich,Milan,Lyon,Dusseldorf,Cologne etc etc. are much more adventurous.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
James SmithMarch 14th 2015.

Because the North has been left to rot by every government since the 70's. The fact that places like manchester and leeds have not only survived but have flourished is truly astonishing. Not developed country on earth has slammed a region like england has done with the North. Which is why we'll hopefully eventually break way. Bit tired of feeling like a second class citizen because I wasn't born in the Home Counties.

AnonymousMarch 14th 2015.

I agree James. The fact the north has done as well as it has is amazing considering the huge difference in spending in every erea there is. Also pay attention to any national news programme and you'll see that any negative issue, be it poverty, obesity, crime, prostitution, drugs, debt, benefits, racial tensions. They are all filmed in the north, every time. Constantly drip feeding to the homes of the nation that the north is a cultural wasteland that needs forgetting about.

AnonymousMarch 15th 2015.

Central government didn't commission Argent & EDAW to redesign and redevelop Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester City Council did! Back of a fridge stuff eh Eugene as they say in Spain?

DavidMarch 14th 2015.

The most boring and dull buildings in this city are largely the result of the public sector especially NHS and also the universities.Considering they have a architecture school Manchester University has built over the last 20 years the biggest load of crap along Oxford Road.Every new hospital building bult is also truly ugly.Hundreds and hundreds of millions spent on mediocre tat.

13 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 14th 2015.

You could use some private sector success stories to back that up. That's generally how it works. Or you could just carry on moaning without knowing what you're on about.

AnonymousMarch 14th 2015.

PFI hospitals. This is design imposed by investment banks plus a weak client in the NHS.

DavidMarch 15th 2015.

PFI was imposed by a Labour chancellor,not the private sector.Out of the dozens of building built by the universities in Manchester in last 20 years how many are the least bit attractive or interesting,with the exception of the one in Salford that won many architecture prizes?

Jonathan SchofieldMarch 15th 2015.

David, have a gander at the superb new Manchester School of Art building at MMU, have a look at the refubs of Manchester Museum and the Whitworth at the University. All quite brilliant. It's wrong not to balance the bad with a mention of the good.

Calum McGowanMarch 15th 2015.

But to be fair to David, most of the new UoM buildings are pretty poor. They've wasted a huge opportunity to build a world-class campus. Shame - given how lovely the original UoM buildings are. There are a couple of gems of new stuff... but mostly it's very bland. The new MRI is also pretty poor... PFI has cut corners off the original plans - which I saw cos I worked on the bid.

AnonymousMarch 15th 2015.

David - PFI stands for Private Finance Initiative. This was the ruse the government used to update schools and hospitals without having the debt sitting on their books. But the repayments are crippling and the end product is dire architecturally so the financiers and facilities managers can make as much money as possible. The client in design terms were the people paying the bills up front - which were the private sector financiers and investors. Doesn't help that the NHS were so compliant of course.

DavidMarch 15th 2015.

Mr SCHOFIELD the NHS and universities have built dozens and dozens of building over the last two decades the fact you can identify a few that are good does not excuse the fact that the vast majority are terrible. PFI was dreamed up by the Major government and used to a great extent by the Labour government.This is not the private sector doing it's the state and its responsibilities for building awful buildings like the new police HQ in Bolton.Of course the default position of 'socialists' is to pretend the last Labour government was not socialist when it does something that it does not like.

AnonymousMarch 15th 2015.

Investing in public services is socialist but as a means of paying for them, PFI is about as socialist the Daily Mail. Crap PFI hospital and police buildings are the architecture of unbridled capitalism.

AnonymousMarch 15th 2015.

PFI was the idea of Major Tory government.But it was the 'socialist ' government of Labour and especially the Chancellor who loved it so much and are responsible for most of the hideous PFI hospitals.Of course Labour loved PFI not because they necessarily loved business,but because it was a way of hiding the true extent of public spending. Secondly investing in public services is not socialist,all governments do it.The problem with socialists unlike the Tories as there investing in public services such as the NHS went mainly into the pockets of doctors and dentists,and not into improving the experience of patients.There are thousands of people unable to find a NHS dentist because of Labour reforms and A and E department overcrowding is a result of Labour allowing doctors not to provide any weekend service for patients. No government loved capitalism and the city more than the last Labour one,as seen by there immigration policies which has led to nearly two decades of depressed wages for the working classes,as their wages and conditions have been undermined by Eastern European workers.But led to big profits for business's as they could keep wage costs down.

AnonymousMarch 15th 2015.

Nice try David (Anon above), talk about going off on a tangent. But it doesn't change the basic facts which are as follows. Investing in public services is socialist but as a means of paying for them, PFI is about as socialist the Daily Mail. Crap PFI hospital and police buildings are the architecture of unbridled capitalism.

DavidMarch 16th 2015.

Investing in public services is only possible if you have a successful economy or you will be in deep debt.A successful economy tends not to occur under Socialist governments and then such governments as in France now are forced to make cuts. The 'unbridled capitalism' prior to the NHS produced better buildings than the NHS did,even before PFI.The centralised,conformist public sector mentality of the NHS as represented by Burnham should be smashed once and for all.

AnonymousMarch 16th 2015.

Nice try again David, you've painted yourself into a corner and no amount of bluster will change the basic facts which are as follows. Investing in public services is socialist but as a means of paying for them, PFI is about as socialist the Daily Mail. Crap PFI hospital and police buildings are the architecture of unbridled capita

AnonymousMarch 16th 2015.

Crap PFI hospital and police buildings are the architecture of unbridled capitalism- that should have said.

DavidMarch 16th 2015.

Public services existed pre the existence of the welfare state after the Second World War and pre the existence of the Labour Party.Socialism did not invent public services and it certainly did not improve them.Those that seek to claim that socialism = public services are the ones who are blustering.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 16th 2015.

Straying off the point again David, which is that investing in public services is socialist but as a means of paying for them, PFI is about as socialist the Daily Mail. Crap PFI hospital and police buildings are the architecture of unbridled capitalism.

AnonymousMarch 16th 2015.

Repeating,without any evidence the same point that socialism = public services is hardly substantiating your point.I guess all the hospitals and schools built in Manchester in the 19th C were the result of socialism?

AnonymousMarch 16th 2015.

Why are some of you so concerned with comparing Manchester with other European cities? For one thing, Manchester doesn't have the same climate and new architecture should make the best of the rain and the overcast skies. We should do our own thing. What's with the obsession of creating a new skyline too?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 16th 2015.

Manchester's size and climate isn't dissimilar to Rotterdam or Dusseldorf but the city is held back by myopic councillors more interested in promoting Eid or getting their mug in the MEN, NIMBY residents opposing development of any kind (especially in Castlefield) and idiots from Wigan writing to the MEN outraged they're classed as Greater Manchester. No sooner do plans for interesting buildings get submitted, "local residents" start banging their drum and spitting their dummy out about noise.

AnonymousMarch 16th 2015.

You absolutely right,I hate all these bloody nimbys stopping development and progress.Of course if anybody wants to develop anything that blocks my light,causes noise or I can get compensation from I will start complaining.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Ashle Kumar

After putting password in our system often we forget it. But don't worry it can be recover by a…

 Read more

Postal services in goverment sector are pretty awesome. Now USPS offering excellent services in…

 Read more

Know your username(which is same as your employee number) Now click this link. And complete your…

 Read more

Link below to an MEN article on future plans for the area.…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2022

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord