Developers responsible for the former Debenhams store in the centre of Manchester have been criticised for failing to maintain the now-empty Grade II-listed Rylands building.

The building is set to extended upwards and redeveloped for multiple uses, including a new shopping arcade, with completion scheduled for 2025.

Plagued by vandalism, including smashed windows and graffiti since its closure in May 2021, the city council has accused the building’s owners of “letting Manchester down”. And the council is threatening to derail the plans unless something is done.

German real estate investment firm AM alpha has been warned its redevelopment plans could be stalled until it improves its appearance.

But AM alpha said in a statement that there have been extensive efforts to deal with the problem and its senior VP Stephan Schmid told the Manchester Evening News: “Working with listed buildings is a privilege and we are saddened that vandalism has occurred regularly at Rylands since the building was vacated. We have made efforts to deal with the damages while development plans have been ongoing, but unfortunately, the problem has persisted.

It confirmed contractors should be on site within “weeks”, adding it hopes to maintain a close relationship with the council. “We remain committed to delivering on our vision and our contractors will be on site in the coming weeks to begin work,” he added.

Councillor Pat Karney said: “Work is due to start on the building… and the agent will be seeking meetings with the city council’s highways and planning officials. These meetings will not take place until they clean up the building.”

4 caviale royal 2 300x300 1


Leave a Reply