One thing which affects us all, and business owners especially, is the redevelopment of our city. Which of late, there has been an exciting amount of. One specific area which we’re keen on exploring is NOMA and the £800 million office, hotel, residential, retail and leisure regeneration which is happening around the One Angel Square area of Manchester City Centre.

What is NOMA?

NOMA is the biggest development project in North West England (surprisingly ahead of MediacityUK and Atlantic Gateway) as well as being the largest development outside of South East England. The Co-operative Group, who have been based in the city since 1843, are hoping that the redevelopment of what’s long been dubbed ‘Co-op City’ will attract more companies to invest in Manchester. The design and construction of the venture is being managed and financed by The Co-op and by Hermes Real Estate, each of which have a 50% stake in the project.

The £800 million project will transform 20 acres of Manchester City Centre and will create 4 m sq ft of office, retail, residential and leisure space. So it’s not just business owners who should be keeping tabs on NOMA, residents in the city should be excited about the prospect of a ‘new neighbourhood’ to explore.

One Angel Square, the new £105 million headquarters for the Co-op Group is the focal point of the project and is already open, with Co-op employees moving into the sustainable building earlier this year. The NOMA scheme is being built on land which is owned by the Co-op themselves and is set to be completed by 2029.

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What does NOMA mean?

The name NOMA comes from Manchester’s 53 degrees north geographical location (used in the project’s branding) and the fact that the development is to the north of the city centre, so naturally, NOMA was coined. The inspiration for the branding came from the SOMA (South of Market) development in San Francisco which has been redeveloped over the past decade.

More than just office space

The project is much more than just office space, the whole development looks to regenerate the entire neighborhood, creating a place where people will want to visit for entertainment and leisure. A new public square is set to open in 2015, and the entire project encapsulates Manchester’s drive towards looking forward through innovation.

It’s a bold attempt by the Co-op to attract commerce and culture, by renovating both existing buildings whilst adding new ones, adding to to the rich tapestry of architecture and business that already exists in the city.

Development

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One Angel Square

One Angel Square was the first phase of the project, and the building which is rated outstanding by BREEAM with a score of 92.25, was opened by The Queen in November 2013. When it opened, the construction was touted as ‘the most sustainable building in the world’, which shows the direction the NOMA project is taken. Innovation through sustainability and technology is very much at the heart of the development.

Hanover Building

Opened in 1909, the Hanover Building is Grade II listed and under NOMA, the plans are to provide upgraded office and retail space.

New Public Realm

As stated above, the new public realm will be a brand new public space for the city. Redfern Annex, a 1960s building, will make way for this new space, one which Manchester sorely needs.

City Buildings and Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo is a £26 million development at the junction of the Victoria tram approach and Todd Street, just off Corporation Street. This circular, 14 storey high hotel will incorporate nearby Grade II listed building and construction will start at the end of this year (2014).

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New Century House

This Grade II listed building is located on the corner of Corporation Street and Miller Street. After Co-op Group employees moved across to One Angel Square, the vacated office then became available to SMEs before renovation begins.

Three Angel Square

This building, which was announced in March 2014, will have nine stories. The aim is to attract SMEs to the 200,000 sq ft of office space which is set to be open by 2018.

It’s Big News

£800 million is a lot of money, and for the city, NOMA is just another exciting development. There will be plenty of environmental and social innovations, such as the modern buildings and their abilities to create their own power through its own smart grid.

It will all be integrated into the existing transport network, including tram, rail, road and bus connections. Again, with MediaCityUK down the road in Salford, and the ongoing regeneration of our city including Spinningfields, NOMA will be another fantastic addition to our modern city.

Angel Meadow sounds nice, as does the vision of an environmentally friendly and sustainable, integrated neighborhood in an area which is in dire need of investment.

The name NOMA though – I’m just not sure on it. While Angel Meadow paints a serene picture of a fresh and responsible future, NOMA does not. It might take a genius to work out what the name stands for, it’s far too cryptic. The vision is there all the same. The Co-operative has long been situated in the city and their commitment to the regeneration of our city is a noble one, adding to the region’s redevelopment, as we collectively grow in strength as a hub for business and leisure.

What do you think about NOMA? Were you aware of the goings on to the North East of the City or is the first time you’ve been be awakened to the fact that One Angel Square is just the start of an exciting period of redevelopment? Leave a comment below or join in the conversation on Twitter.