I went over to Manchester Airport last week for a progress check on its ambitious Airport City scheme, writes Simon Binns.
The marketing suite itself is impressive enough. A whizzy iPad presentation is livened up even more by clear plastic sheets given to prospecvtive occupiers, which they can take away and lay over their tablet then marvel as vacuum-pressed mini-office blocks, hotels or sheds light up at the appropriate times. Even the roads turn bright pink. I even got the requisite press USB stick, although this one was dayglo yello and went around your wrist like a watch.
Dayglo USB wristbands and plastic iPad covers aside, things seem to be cracking on reasonably well with Airport City. Talk is the airport has heads of terms out on 11 deals that would gobble up 1.5m sq ft of space if they all complete. Two of those requirements are thought to be in solicitors' hands, although the airport refused to be drawn.
Ther target is one large occupier by Christmas and something concrete to present at next year's MIPIM. Presentations are one thing, but deals are what will make this scheme fly.
Simon Binns is Estates Gazette's North of England correspondent