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One of the newer areas of town to benefit from the regeneration craze, the Piccadilly Basin and surrounding area will be unrecognisable in ten years' time. Lying between the Northern Quarter, Piccadilly Railway Station and Piccadilly Gardens, the Piccadilly Gateway is often what forms visitor's first impressions of Manchester as most travel routes enter the city here. So far, the area has not created a particularly good impression. However, there have already been massive regeneration projects to restore the canal and Piccadilly Basin itself, providing walkways and landscaped areas, and the grass and fountains at Piccadilly Gardens are now often busy on sunny days.
Being so close to the retail heart of Manchester, the Piccadilly Gateway offers easy access to the bars, restaurants and shops in the city centre, but the area itself has little in the way of a separate identity. Hotels lead from the station into the city, including big players Malmaison, Rossetti and City Inn, and Kro Piccadilly and the Brunswick Lounge are both popular bars. A few good cafés have appeared in the Piccadilly Gardens area, from the prizewinning Barburrito to Rice. However, until the regeneration finishes, residents can expect to spend much of their time in the nearby Northern Quarter.
The developments in the area look set to capture the attention of the Manchester property market in no small way. From mixed purpose new builds to classy conversions, there are all kinds of plans afoot and experts expect property in this area to be in huge demand by the time the regeneration projects near completion. Developments like The Met and Vantage Quays have paved the way already. Investment returns are likely to be substantial and prices are often lower than in already established hotspots. However, the regeneration does come at a price - there is a lot of building work in the area, and will be for some time, so if you prefer to live somewhere quieter you may do well to avoid Piccadilly Gateway for the next few years.