Manchester is attracting further “sport-resi” investment after former cricketer Freddie Flintoff unveiled plans for a major residential scheme in the city.
Marking his first foray into property development, Freddie Flintoff is planning a 35-storey tower designed by SimpsonHaugh.
The ex-England cricketer’s property company, Logik Developments, has submitted proposals for a 386-home scheme across three buildings in Castlefield, including a former motorcycle works from the early 1900s.
The proposals are for a high-rise comprising 159 flats for private sale on the corner of Ellesmere Street and Mancunian Way, as well as a U-shaped mid-rise building with a further 215 homes and 223 sq m of commercial space, according to The Architects’ Journal.
The façade of the red-brick Dot Motorcycle building will be retained and the interior transformed into 158 sq m of commercial space, with more homes on the three upper floors and a roof garden for residents at the top of the building.
Logik Developments, where Flintoff is a director alongside his cousin Neil Spencer and business partner Tony Bhatti, was incorporated in August last year.
Freddie Flintoff is also said to be bringing forward another two sites at Mayfield as part of developer U+I’s £800 million regeneration of the area.
The Ashes hero said earlier this year that he wanted to play a role in the transformation taking place in Manchester and “build something special”.
“With that comes some pressure as well,” he told the Manchester Evening News. “I’m not going to lie; when you look around, not every building is great and we want to build some proper ones. We want to build some that we’re proud of. This is the first site and we want to get it 100% right.”
Other sporting legends have also turned their hand to property development in Manchester.
Former Manchester United players Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs are working with Hodder + Partners on the St Michael’s skyscraper scheme, which was recently approved by the town hall.
The £200 million St Michael’s development will see a luxury five-star hotel and apartments – in a tower reaching more than 30 storeys – built off Deansgate on Jackson’s Row. There will also be new office space in the former Bootle Street police station, a new synagogue and a rooftop terrace.
The government could still call the decision in for review, however, because of its impact on nearby historic buildings.
According to Manchester Evening News, city centre councillor Joan Davies compared the effects of St Michael’s development on nearby heritage to sitting behind someone taller than her at a concert. “This tower is that huge person,” she said.
Councillor Hugh Barrett, one of those to vote against the move, compared it to “a great big candle in an area which is Victorian in essence”.
In London, meanwhile, Neville’s former teammate Rio Ferdinand is collaborating with ex-West Ham striker Bobby Zamora and current West Ham midfielder Mark Noble on a new, socially motivated development programme called the Legacy Foundation.
DealMakerz is fascinated to see yet another sporting hero turn to property development to boost their fortunes.
We think anyone who can help to alleviate the country’s housing crisis while protecting local heritage is to be congratulated.