The sale marks HS2’s second major property acquisition in Manchester city centre, following its purchase of the Store Street site in April 2021. The sites are needed for the new station that will be built alongside the existing Piccadilly Station.
Manchester’s new station is forecast to open between 2035 and 2040 and includes six platforms at surface level, allowing passengers to access both HS2 and future NPR services. The plans also include provision for a new four platform Metrolink station beneath the HS2 station.
Early works supporting construction of the new Piccadilly high speed station are not expected to start until at least 2025 so HS2 has agreed leasehold terms with Square One’s existing tenants to enable them to stay until the site is needed.
Square One was sold to HS2 Ltd by property firm Bruntwood.
HS2 chief commercial officer Ruth Todd said: “Following submission of the Bill earlier this year, seeking powers to construct and operate the railway between Crewe and Manchester, this acquisition represents another major milestone in our programme to bring high speed rail to the north.
“HS2’s purchase of Square One is a vote of confidence for investors locally and internationally to leverage the wider regeneration potential of the surrounding area, knowing that Manchester is set to become so brilliantly connected.”
A large proportion of the area surrounding Piccadilly station is underdeveloped, making it a prime location for investment in new commercial space and housing.