Square Gardens co-living scheme marks major milestone

Downing’s £400m co-living development - Square Gardens – in Manchester marks major construction milestone.

Construction of the façade which has started at Downing's Square Gardens co-living development in Manchester | BTR News
Construction of the façade which has started at Downing's Square Gardens co-living development in Manchester.

Developer Downing’s £400m co-living development in Manchester marks a major milestone, with the construction of the façade starting this month. Unveiling the name of the development, Square Gardens, the name draws inspiration from Garden Street, which was previously located in the middle of the site – and owes to the abundance of green space residents will benefit from.

Located on First Street, the Square Gardens neighbourhood will include three buildings designed by award-winning architects Simpson Haugh Partnership. The scheme will deliver 1,772 new homes at different price-points – a mix of private studios to five-bedroom apartments.

Installation of a façade by Focchi Group | BTR News
Installation of a façade by Focchi Group.

The scheme is in the next stage of construction with the installation of a façade by Focchi Group. The entire façade is prefabricated off site, limiting waste and improving quality and installation time. A key element of the design is the glass unitised curtain walling, which will give a light reflective quality that responds to different weather conditions and times of the day – whilst also providing unrestricted views of the city.

“We are delighted the façade works have started as planned, which we felt was an opportune point to unveil the name of our development, Square Gardens. The façade will see the buildings start to take shape as a landmark project right in the heart of Manchester, accentuating the important regeneration of the area.”

George Tyson, Projects Director, Downing
Progress at the First Street regeneration site | BTR News
Progress at the First Street regeneration site.

Offering hassle-free living in the city centre, the Square Gardens co-living scheme will offer residents plenty of outdoor space and amenities to create an urban oasis. The development also boasts one of the largest outdoor spaces in the city which is connected to a residential offering.

Square Gardens will include 17,000 sq ft of commercial, leisure and retail. Landscaping works will start later this year, with the scheme incorporating 9,900m2 of new landscape – of which 5,800m2 is accessible to the public along with the addition of over 140 new trees. Downing hopes this will boost biodiversity, improve air quality, and aid in the mental health of both residents and the wider First Street community.

Downing's First Street site | BTR News
Downing’s First Street site.

“We are creating more than just a place to live for our residents with a focus on delivering a neighbourhood with unrivalled outdoor and shared community spaces, which will make this development one of the most desirable places to live in the city. Ultimately, our goal is to provide the best place to live in central Manchester, where residents simply move in and have everything they need to make the most of city living.”

George Tyson, Projects Director, Downing

Downing will construct and manage the property. Phase one of the scheme is scheduled to complete in August 2024, with the delivery of phase two in March 2025. Once Square Gardens is complete, it will mark the completion of the regeneration of First Street.