Downing tops out at Square Gardens co-living scheme

Alongside Manchester City Council, Downing celebrates topping out at its Square Gardens co-living development in Manchester.

Downing and Manchester City Council celebrated the achievement together. Pictured left to right: Bev Craig (MCC) and George Downing (Downing) | BTR News
Downing and Manchester City Council celebrated the achievement together. Pictured left to right: Bev Craig (MCC) and George Downing (Downing).

Developer Downing and the Leader of Manchester City Council celebrate the topping out of the first phase of a major £400m shared living scheme Square Gardens. The milestone was celebrated with a topping out ceremony to mark reaching the highest point in the construction of the Acer Tower – the first phase of the landmark residential development, which is set to be the largest co-living development in the UK.

The Leader of Manchester City Council Cllr Bev Craig, alongside Cllr Gavin White, Executive Member for Housing and Development and Becca Heron, the city council’s Strategic Director for Growth and Development joined Downing’s Chairman George Downing, Investment Director Bay Downing, and Projects Director George Tyson on-site to mark the occasion.

“This is a significant milestone and a fantastic opportunity to see Square Gardens really starting to take shape. We were honoured to have leaders from Manchester City Council join us to celebrate this occasion, which highlights the importance of this development to the city and its community. Square Gardens has been designed to bring people together to connect and share experiences. Our aim is to provide high quality, purpose-built living spaces, offering flexible and hassle-free city centre living at inclusive prices. It’s also our strongest performing project to date in terms of environmental impact and sustainability. We look forward to welcoming residents and creating a vibrant community within this outstanding development.”

George Tyson, Projects Director, Downing

As part of First Street, Square Gardens will deliver 1,301 new homes to one of Manchester’s fastest growing neighbourhoods. The development will include a mix of studios and one- and two-bed apartments. Amenities and services include a gym, wellness centre and co-working spaces, social areas such as lounges, a cinema room and private dining area, which are all set within the largest private landscaped garden in the city centre. 

Designed by award-winning architects Simpson Haugh Partnership, Square Gardens will boast one of the largest outdoor green spaces in the city. It will also include the addition of over 140 new trees – improving air quality and aiding in the wellbeing of the wider First Street community. 

Residents at Square Gardens will benefit from an individual tenancy agreement with one monthly fee, including all utilities, Wi-Fi, and access to all facilities. The development will contribute to the regeneration of First Street and provide a new place to live and a new way to rent in Manchester City Centre.

“Square Gardens will enhance the growing First Street district and add to its vibrancy. We have an ambitious housing strategy to deliver 36,000 new homes in Manchester by 2032 and this development will play a significant part.” 

Cllr Bev Craig, Leader, Manchester City Council

Early this year, Precede Capital Partners – in a partnership with Nomura – announced a £227m four-year whole-loan facility to Downing Living, the residential-focused division of property developer and operator Downing, to finance the construction of First Street.