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PICCADILLY PLAZA SOLD FOR £22M
THAT EYESORE IN THE CENTRE OF MANCHESTER, or alternatively, Manchester's most exciting redevelopment property, the Piccadilly Plaza, has been sold to London-based Portfolio Holdings. Only this week, Manchester's best-known property developer, Tom Bloxham, told me he wouldn't have minded redeveloping the property. Well now, Portfolio Holdings have taken on the job of renovating and rejuvenating the development, which is the city's first post-war purpose-built shopping centre and office complex. Opened in 1965, it failed to live up to expectations - due to a downdraught from the office tower, causing ventilation problems, many shopping units on the first floor never found occupants.
Today, the piazza upstairs is closed off, and at street level, the building is run-down and dingy. It remains to be seen what improvements the new developer decides to carry out. There have been suggestions to get rid of the podium and open up the spaces between the three buildings. Others say they should put genignite under the whole lot. Personally, I think that the building should be refurbished and preserved for future generations. Maybe they'll appreciate it more than we do at the moment.
MORE CRIME STORIES
IN SALFORD, a masked gunman entered a construction site on Regent Road, Ordsall, at around 4pm yesterday, and wounded a 33 year old man. The gunman was wearing a balaclava, dark bomber jacket and black gloves. He escaped in a BMW which was later found burned out. Today's MEN reports that the shooting may have been due to a personal feud, and that the gunman shot the wrong man. Only recently, a teenage girl was hit by a gunman in Longsight - police said she couldn't have been the intended target.
TALKING OF LONGSIGHT, ITV teletext has no less that two reports of assaults in that district. A 21 year old was walking down Stockport Road when he was threatened and dragged into an alleyway. The attacker stole his mobile phone and rucksack. And a 52 year old woman walking down Plymouth Grove was attacked by a man who inflicted a one-inch cut to her face, and stole £30. What sort of person could do such a thing?
AND IN OLDHAM, a clothes shop was ram-raided, and £1000 worth of clothes were stolen. The Demolition shop, in Yorkshire St, was badly damaged. Incidents like this can do nothing to attract new business to Greater Manchester. I think it's an exaggeration to say that Manchester is like Chicago in the 1930's, but others would disagree with me.
LLOYD OSWALD SHIRLEY will appear in court tomorrow in connection with the murder of Tricia Stewart last weekend at her home in Hulme.
HOT, CLOSE WITH HAZY SUNSHINE
TODAY STARTED OFF WITH DRIZZLE, and then the day brightened up steadily. By 7pm as we ate a delicious curry in Rusholme, the evening sun was casting its rays through thin clouds over Manchester. As I write, it's dusk, and I can see the glow of the moon through the thin layer of cloud. It's the holiday season, and lots of people are just about to take some time off, or like me, have just arrived back. I overheard someone today saying "it's a dead time" at the moment, with so many people away, and the hot muggy weather makes me want to sleep.
I wonder what the weather will be like for the giant rave party to held in fields near at Jodrell Bank Radio Telecope in October - reported on ITV teletext - and I wonder what alien eavesdroppers will make of the music. Weird! Music of a more conventional nature will be played at nearby Capesthorne Hall on Sunday evening. As the climax to the evening, the The Performing Arts Symphony Orchestra will perform Mussorgsky at 10pm, and there'll be a firework display. Phone 01625 560000 for more details. Current EWM temperature is 63/17.