AM alpha, a global real-estate investment family firm, is to convert the iconic Rylands building on the corner of Market Street and High Street in Manchester into a mixed-use development comprising retail, leisure and office space.
The Grade II listed building in Manchester city centre, which formerly housed the Debenhams department store, will undergo extensive modernisation.
The complete refurbishment will include fully redeveloping the existing building, converting the upper floors into high-quality office space and creating a shopping arcade on the ground floor.
AM alpha will also add a four-storey extension to the building meaning Rylands will boast ten floors of high-quality office space, a shopping arcade and a leisure area, mainly for restaurant businesses, after the refurbishment.
Enabling works for the transformation of the vacant building have already begun, with main works scheduled to start in 2023 and completion expected in early 2025.
The building is designed to achieve Net Zero Carbon status. After the renovation of the historic building is completed, a certification for sustainable construction according to Breeam Excellent or Nabers 5* is planned.
Stephan Schmid, Senior Vice President at AM alpha: "Working with listed buildings is always a great privilege. We are proud to be able to give this historic Manchester landmark a new future and restore Rylands to its former glory in a very sustainable way. In this way, we are also helping to achieve Greater Manchester's 2038 carbon neutrality target."
Local construction company Russell WBHO, which specialises in listed and sustainable projects, will act as a construction partner for the project, while local property companies OBI and Barker Proudlove have been appointed as letting agents.
"It's fantastic working with AM alpha on such an exciting project in our home town. Rylands is a well-known, impressive building," says Will Lewis, founding director at OBI. "The property is close to bustling areas such as Piccadilly Gardens and the Northern Quarter and will appeal to many local businesses. Due to the sought-after location, we already see a lot of interest from potential future tenants."
Gareth Russell, founder and managing director of Russell WBHO: "We are delighted to be working with AM alpha to revitalise the historic Rylands building and position it in the market as a highly sustainable building. With our extensive experience in historic preservation and sustainable building, we will make AM Alpha's vision a reality."
AM alpha is a Munich based privately owned real estate family office that focuses on global investments in prime real estate on its own account and in collaboration with family offices, private clients and endowments in Europe and Asia. The company is represented in Europe in all major real estate markets with its own offices. Its Asian operations are headquartered in Singapore, with offices in the gateway cities in the Asia Pacific region. AM alpha has also received all necessary licenses from German regulator BaFin acting as a German regulated capital management company (Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft – KVG) and Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM). The real estate firm is currently managing a substantial Asia Pacific and European portfolio.