Vacant Victorian showroom in city centre could be transformed into new flats and office space

A vacant Victorian showroom in Manchester city centre could be transformed into 89 new flats and offices under plans to ‘breathe new life’ into the listed building.

The Armitage showroom and workshop on Laystall Street would be renovated to house 8,000 sq ft of work space as part of McCauls’ vision for the site near the Northern Quarter, Ancoats and Piccadilly.

Dating back to 1879, the Grade II listed building’s ornate brickwork and terracotta exterior has crumbled since falling out of use.

It was first constructed to serve as the head office for the terracotta and fireclay firm John Armitage and Sons.

But the showroom could be extensively refurbished and given a modern extension to the corner of Laystall Street and Pigeon Street to provide extra office space.

McCauls also wants to build a nine-storey apartment building, containing 28 one-bed and 61 two-bed flats, and a courtyard behind the showroom.

However ‘significant’ refurbishment costs of around £1.6m means that no affordable housing would be built as it would make the scheme unprofitable.

a tall brown brick building: 32-34 Laystall Street

                                    © McCauls/OMI Architects 32-34 Laystall Street

A financial viability assessment commissioned by McCauls also recommended against making a payment towards providing affordable housing elsewhere in the city.

If approved by Manchester council the Laystall Street development would be the third to be delivered in the city centre by McCauls.

Last year the developer completed Warehaus Ancoats, a converted warehouse on George Leigh Street, while it was also responsible for luxury flats at The Point in New Islington.

The firm’s director Joe McCaul said: “We are delighted to bring forward plans to breathe new life into the old showroom by creating a unique office space within the listed building and create new homes at the rear of the site.”

“The site is in a fantastic location being a two minute walk to the Northern Quarter and Piccadilly respectively and will be a perfect location to live and work.

“There is also exciting regeneration planned around the Piccadilly Basin area and we look forward to playing our part in this.”

Source: Manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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