A consortium led by UK-based property development company Argent has been selected as the preferred bidder to develop the $1 billion Manchester Airport City North Scheme, according to reports on PropertyWeek.com.
The consortium, led by Argent, includes the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund and the construction company Carillion.
PropertyWeek.com reported on Friday (April 12) that the consortium is “days away” from being named as the preferred bidder for the 65-acre project, however Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has not confirmed the news.
A MAG spokesman said: “No party has yet been selected for the final stage in our joint venture partner selection process.
“We are pleased with the level of interest shown to date by a number of parties in relation to the Airport City Project at Manchester Airport; as a number of bids have come from a range of international developers and funders.”
According to PropertyWeek.com, under the consortium’s plan Carillion would likely take charge of the industrial element of the scheme, and the retail, leisure and office elements would be developed by Argent.
The $1 billion (£650 million) plan to develop the major new business district at Manchester Airport was approved by Manchester City Council on January 17.
The Airport City Manchester (North) development will include new offices, industrial units, hotels, retail and leisure facilities and is expected create around 11,400 jobs over the next 10 to 15 years.
The first of its kind in the UK, Manchester Airport City is aiming to compete with existing airport city and aerotropolis projects such as those in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Copenhagen, and attract global businesses to the North West of England.
The Airport City will also be the focal point of the government’s new Enterprise Zone for Greater Manchester.
John Atkins, property director at MAG, said: “The planning approval is a major milestone, underlining the progress made in the last twelve months and enables us to progress to the delivery stage in 2013, driving forward opportunities to attract investment and create jobs.
“Manchester is already well-established as the global gateway for the North. Airport City will not only enhance this status, but also further the city’s ambition to become a major European and global business city, by bringing a world-class commercial product that is sustainable and innovative to the UK for the first time.”
The Airport City (North) development site is a 65-acre area of land to the north of Manchester Airport’s terminals and railway station, bordered by the M56 spur road and the Woodhouse Park area of Wythenshawe.
The development proposals comprise:
1.2 million square feet of offices
530,000 square feet of advanced manufacturing space
Around 1,300 new hotel beds
62,000 square feet of ancillary retail
Extensive public realm, public and open-space, including a 13 acre central park area
New multi storey car parking spaces and cycle spaces, including a bicycle hub
An iconic landscaped pedestrian 'green bridge' over the M56 spur
A natural habitat corridor linking to off-site green spaces to encourage wildlife
Provision of new community facilities to promote use of the area outside working hours