Members of Manchester United’s “Class of ’92” have agreed an enormous residential property deal to build a university, student village and new homes.
The University Academy ’92 (UA92), fronted by former Manchester United stars Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, is part of a £170 million Trafford Council plan for the Greater Manchester area.
The original designs were modified after locals described the “ugly tower block” as an “eyesore”.
Last week Trafford Council said the 20-storey tower block had been scrapped in favour of lower rise student accommodation, adding there would be “ongoing engagement” about the development.
The council’s executive committee endorsed the new proposals in a vote on Monday as part of the refreshed Stretford master plan, which includes proposals to redevelop part of Stretford Mall and bring the Grade II listed art deco Essoldo cinema on Chester Road back into use.
The university will offer sport, media and business courses and cater for up to 6,500 students as part of Lancaster University, in partnership with Trafford Council and Trafford College.
UA92’s website states that it offers a “game-changing educational experience”, adding:
“More than a degree, this is preparation for life, and a personal journey that will help you develop the expertise, resilience, drive and tenacity to shine in your field of dreams.”
New homes and leisure facilities are also part of the plan, which would see the main campus located on the site of the former Kellogg’s building on Talbot Road.
Respondents to the consultation said there was a lack of a plan for an “enhanced evening economy” and pointed to the poor quality of the physical environment and vacant buildings.
But Trafford Council said the redevelopment would drive economic growth.
UA92 takes its name from the year the Manchester United stars started their careers at the club.
Since they retired from playing, the five former players have been active on the property scene, purchasing Salford City FC in 2014 and opening a hotel alongside Old Trafford a year later.
Some of their plans have caused controversy. Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs’s £200 million plan to redevelop part of Manchester city centre was snubbed for a second time by conservationists on Monday.
After criticism from Historic England (HE), plans to build one of two skyscrapers in the Jackson’s Row area of the city were scrapped.
HE said it still could not back the St Michael’s scheme due to the “cumulative harm” to nearby listed buildings.
Neville said their plan would boost the area’s economy and create 1,500 jobs.
HE has written to Manchester City Council, which said that since the application was currently with its planning department it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage.
DealMakerz is intrigued to see further evidence of how successful the career path from football to property development can be. The Class of ‘92 aren’t the only ones to make the leap.
It was recently reported that former Premier League boss Harry Redknapp is planning a huge upmarket development project in Bournemouth, containing 21 flats and three mews houses.
Meanwhile, Robbie Fowler was so chuffed with his property development success that he opened an academy for budding property entrepreneurs, albeit he doesn’t actually bother turning up to seminars.