In 2019, HBD successfully acquired a prime site located in the heart of Manchester’s city centre, known as St John’s.
At the time, the site was occupied by Manchester College whose owners LTE Group needed to sell the land to help fund a new campus, while also needing to continue operations in the existing space for a minimum of two years until their new facility was ready.
Leveraging our extensive expertise, HBD skilfully engineered a mutually beneficial agreement, allowing the College to retain its current premises during the transitional period while also developing our early phase designs for the area’s future.
The arrangement concluded in early 2023, with the College moving to its new home, permitting HBD to take on the site, and begin the journey of delivering another Net Zero workspace for Manchester.
Throughout 2023, HBD colleagues have moved the development forward, submitting a planning application and giving the scheme a new name – Colloco.
Taking the lead from our work at Island – one of Manchester’s first Net Zero buildings which will complete in 2024 – Colloco will again raise the bar, offering 200,000 sq ft of super sustainable, high-quality, flexible workspace over 16 storeys – with spaces designed to foster collaboration and innovation.
We are targeting a BREEAM Excellent Rating, and a 5.5-star accreditation for NABERS UK. The building will also be compliant with British Council for Offices standards and include a host of amenities aligned with the WELL building standards.
We will also prioritise the wellbeing of all who will use the space in the future, with a ground floor filled with communal spaces, a concierge-style offering, as well as a roof pavilion that will feature breakout and events spaces, and access to a landscaped garden terrace with views across the city – each space will enable an authentic community to prosper. Future occupiers will also benefit from a cycle storage facility with E-bike charging points and showers will be available for occupiers.
Location, location, location
Beyond its strong green credentials, Colloco enjoys a strategic location in a vibrant part of Manchester – adjacent to the burgeoning St John’s district. The latter is rapidly transforming into a vibrant hub for businesses in the media, technology, and creative sectors. Notably, in 2023, the district’s focal point became the new Factory building, solidifying its status as the epicentre of cultural and creative activity in the region.
Historically, the area was famed for its freight heritage, something HBD has embraced in our designs. Working with EPR Architects, we have developed an aesthetic that reflects the rich industrial, warehouse heritage of the area. As we move through to the construction phase, we are continuing to research materials to bring this aesthetic to life in as sustainable a manner as possible, for example using recycled materials in the window frames.
With Colloco now submitted for planning, our vision is on its way to becoming a reality, and we will continue to work alongside our project team of Arcadis, EPR Architects; Asteer Planning, Curtins, Hoare Lea, and Ramboll to bring it to fruition.