Scheduled to open in Spring 2019, this promises to be one of the most exciting openings of the year
This is The Place. Or at least it was. Bought by Capital & Centric, backed by Ares Investment Management for a reported £20m in 2016, this grade II-listed Victorian railway warehouse – formerly home to The Place Aparthotel – looks set to be one of 2019’s most intriguing openings.
Built by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MSLR) and opened on Ducie Street in 1867, the huge red brick, iron-framed London Warehouse (pictured below) has been stripped back and redesigned by architect David Archer of Archer Humphryes – the man behind the transformation of Chiltern Firehouse.
Manchester was a natural choice... it is such a key location for art, design, fashion and technology
Relaunching in Spring 2019, the 120,000 square foot, seven storey edifice will include a 166-bed four star apart hotel, operated by the Native group; an all-day ‘hangout’ space with restaurant, bar, lounge and mini-cinema by trendy Bethnal Green restaurant Bistrotheque, and a gym by boutique fitness brand BLOK.
Billed as a ‘democratic place for those with a passion for design and culture’, London Warehouse is the latest in a string of Manchester regeneration projects by Capital & Centric, including Crusader Mill in Ancoats, Talbot Mill in Castlefield and the nearby Kampus in Piccadilly.
Here’s more of what to expect:
With over 1000 rooms in seventeen locations across London, as well as a new location in Glasgow and pipeline sites in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, Native (formerly Go Native) is one of the fastest growing aparthotel operators in the UK. Native will take on the long term management of London Warehouse.
"Design and cultural collaboaration are at the heart of Native's approach to creating unique experiences for our guests," says Native's founder and CEO, Guy Nixon. "The purchase of the former Place Aparthotel has been a sector defining opportunity for us to work with the industry's best creatives, architects and designers. With over 100,000 square feet of space, this has been an extraordinary opportunity to take one of the great icons of Manchester's industrial past and turn it into a major destination for the city."
Bistrotheque's Yorkshire-born founders Pablo Flack and David Waddington met in the mid-90s, when Flack was manager of the Bricklayers Arms - a bolthole for Shoreditch's pre-hipster bohemian crowd. By 2004 they had founded Bistrotheque in an old East End warehouse, serving relaxed bistro food to creative types willing to brave shady back streets for the promise of art projected onto walls and, as one early reviewer wrote, "lip-synching trannies miming to pop songs". The pair were also instrumental in London's emerging pop-up restaurant scene, with projects like The Reindeer, FLASH, Studio East Dining and King’s Cross Filling Station.
Now, fourteen years after launching the restaurant, they're ready to return north and open Bistrotheque's first outpost. "Having grown up in Huddersfield, Manchester exerted a very strong pull on me in my formative years," says Flack. "It's a city with a keen sense of self and strong cultural foundations. It's also an exciting city to be in right now and we hope that we can become just one small piece in what is a highly dynamic jigsaw."
The kitchen will be led by chef director, Blaine Duffy.
An award-winning blend of fitness, design and fashion, BLOK has been called 'London's most aesthetically pleasing gym'. Founded by partners Ed and Reema Stanbury and Max Oppenheim, the trio have combined experience in marketing, construction, nutrition and photography to create achingly cool places (in Clapton and Shoreditch, where else?) to get sweaty. Manchester will be BLOK's third gym, offering a variety of classes and workshops such as rocket yoga, ballet fit and boxcon.
Reema Stanbury said: “Manchester was a natural choice for the third BLOK as it is such a key location for art, design, fashion and technology. We are drawn to creative hubs and Manchester, especially the Northern Quarter, has a thriving and growing creative community.
"Our goal has always been to create more than just a gym and for every BLOK site to be a genuine destination. With a strong emphasis on architecture and design, the London Warehouse development is the perfect location and through our partnership with Native and Bistrotheque, we are able to create something which truly is the ultimate cultural destination.”
London Warehouse launches in Spring 2019.