5plus is the architect behind the gold Store Street building. Credit: North Made Studio

Developer of Manchester’s £19m gold tower eyes more sites 

Faizal Atcha, the man behind recently approved plans for a distinctive 54-apartment scheme on Store Street, is aiming to get started on the project as soon as possible as he seeks to make his mark on an underdeveloped part of the city centre. 

“It seems Store Street has been forgotten about. Being an M1 postcode, that really should not be [the case],” said Atcha, director of developer M1 Piccadilly, part of the LW Group of companies. 

“[The gold tower] is the first of multiple projects I have in the pipeline for regenerating this part of Piccadilly,” he told Place North West. “M1 will add to the ever-growing skyline of Manchester.”

Atcha is planning a total of 400 apartments around Store Street alone, as well as a scheme that will see warehouses converted into what he called a “WeWork-style office space”.

He did not divulge details of the specific sites but said he was “currently engaged in talks with land owners in the surrounding area”. 

Atcha plans to use a mix of equity and borrowing to deliver the first part of his Store Street vision, the controversial 15-storey gold tower that was approved last week.  

Having won planning permission for his debut scheme, Atcha is keen to begin work “straight away” and is readying his in-house construction team, M1 Contractors, for a start on site. 

Atcha said the scheme’s gold façade is ‘iconic’. Credit: via LW Group

The appearance of the project, designed by 5plus Architects, has divided opinion. Cllr Sam Wheeler, a ward councillor for Piccadilly, described the project as “a monstrosity” when it went before the city council’s planning committee last week. 

However, Atcha believes the block is “truly iconic” with its golden facade – an element he opted to retain from the original lapsed planning consent – thanks, in part, to the input of former boxing world champion Amir Khan. 

“Having shown this site to my dear friend Amir Khan, I was looking at [using] a predominantly glass facade. However, he insisted we keep to the gold.” 

Atcha went on to recount a conversation he had had with Khan about the importance of “being remembered for innovation, not for being repetitive”. 

“Amir would send me photos of buildings in London and during his travels to Dubai for inspiration until we finalised the design. 

“I remember him saying that Manchester is known as the main city outside London, it needs architectural magnificence to prove to the world Manchester is breaking through and adapting to the modern 21st century.” 

The scheme will be both modern and high-end, with interiors designed by Cavalli Home and Versace, according to Atcha.

“We are aiming to make this a luxurious development. I want to put Manchester on the map with regards to design, fit-out and architectural magnificence,” he said. 

If Atcha gets his wish for a prompt start on site, the first residents could move into the building before the end of 2024.

Your Comments

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Is the next building going to be marble clad to make it look expensive?

By Anonymous

Architectural Magnificence it is not

By Bob

Where to start – tasteless bling,

By Rich X

Nothing architectural positive about Manchester unfortunately, plenty of investment and new builds but still looks dull.

By Anonymous

Still cant believe the council agreed planning on that gold tower – bad architecture

By meh

I often ask ‘what would Amir Khan do?’ and then proceed to do the opposite.

By Anon

Re meh… ask yourself why the council agreed to this.

By Peter Chapman

Clearly the developer thinks Manchester is Dubai…. Atcha it is not, we don’t want gold towers or apartments designed by Cavalli or Versace.

By Anonymous

I’m sure 5plus is proud of this great piece of architecture.
I look forward to seeing it going up in the skyline

By Marvelous

Manchester has become an architectural catastrophe.

By John

You don’t get named the 3rd best city in the world by being dull, that’s for sure 😉

By Anonymous

Is the interior in the picture going to be replicated in the new apartments?

By Dave

We’ll, just one building on a small corner among thousands. I don’t have to look at it.

By Anonymous

Been living in manchester all my life, at least some things moving in the right position, well done to the council for approval!

By Imran

Great work! love it.

By Steve

Well Amir Khan is quite correct in that one regard. This isn’t the building to do it however regardless of what Mr Atcha believes.

By Anonymous

I really like it! with legend like Amir Khan behind the design it will attract good press indeed!

By Ian

Do they really Believe this to be an iconic building? Empty rhetoric to peddle their rubbish and Manchester is buying into it. The city of Manchester is being trashed by this kind of monstrosity.

By Andy

Lovely looking build that is, is there a pool?

By David

I don’t think this is better or worse than anything else that Renaker, Salboy, X1 etc are doing in the city right now. I do find it amusing that so many people who cry “get it built” to pretty much anything that is proposed suddenly find this development so offensive just because it will be clad in a gold effect. Manchester is already trying to become Dubai, Deansgate Square and the wider area being a prime example.

By Mancunian

This is hideous for the reasons listed above – mostly, that it is incredibly tacky. It should not be built here, or anywhere in Europe for that matter.
However, comparisons to other buildings around Manchester are completely ridiculous. Similar to DSQ? Come off it. DSQ is comprised of glass towers with huge windows. This is the exact opposite.

By Sensible

Yes comments like this building is like any building around DSQ or even Greengate are clearly made by someone who has never seen either and are therefore disingenuous. It’s 15 story’s for one thing, that might be big for somewhere like say Hull or Liverpool but this barely registers tiddler status around here. This is a CGI ie something that hasn’t even been built yet and will probably look rather better in the flesh. Either way , in the scale of building and investment here it barely registers.

By Calgon

I suppose that Mancunians have got to move with the times and accept new styles in Architectural finish appearance and probably get away from terracotta and slate. Building Compliance will ensure that the external facade cladding is safe.You have got to admire the developers investing millions of pounds though in yet more and more apartments being built in the City Centre and when will the bubble burst and there are vast numbers of empty apartments that Council tax will still have to be paid for.

By Paul griffiths

Sorry…But I can only laugh.

By Dan

What planet is this guy living on? Obviously has no idea about architecture at all. The design is a disgrace

By Steve

Looks vile, more suited to Trump towers

By MancGuy22

Finally, a new build in Manchester that’s not simply grey or black, or a glass box. I’m glad this was approved. It looks good and should certainly be a positive contrast to the overbearing carbuncle up the road that is Oxygen.

By Keith610

I love the gold cladding, and the shape is an improvement from the usual boring glass rectangular skyscrapers which dot the city centre landscape. My only gripe with this development is it looks a bit stumpy, given the building’s diameter. A few more stories with a tapered design on the upper floors would make this attractive development even more eye-catching.

By Bilderburg Attendee

You have got to love a bit of bling, get it built!

By Anonymous

An ugly building. God help us with what comes next!

By Chris

Starting from the building appearing on the picture on the left hand side and finishing with that horrendous ‘gold’ painted tower that will start looking bad within weeks. When this street could be a cute and very important route with double lined planted trees and a mix of independent retailers mixed with some chain restaurants and business on the ground level with flats above. Contrary, It will end up being a massive ‘back street’ with completely blank frontages, full of parked cars, unsocial practices and very unsafe environment.

That gold will definitely look iconic in this scenario.

By Daniel

@Paul griffiths please can you provide factual evidence that there are vast numbers of empty apartments in Manchester? Renaker have just reached the milestone of selling 70% of the apartments at their Colliers Yard scheme and it is currently a hole in the ground. Clearly there is a huge demand for apartments in Manchester.

By New Wave

There is a big difference between apartments being sold and apartments actually being occupied.So you can have lots of sales but largely empty building.

By Anonymous

Architecture is subjective. I subscribe to the Umberto Eco view that “Faizal Atcha is a poet, and Imran Khan is a town crier” which is a “perfect combination”.

By WindyMcWindface

We’ll,with both the Blade and cylinder coming both over 50 story’s (and tbh a lot more interesting than this ) and lots of talls on the way this is just a Gold clad irrelevance in some regard. Every report shows the demand for apartments in Manchester as well as the need for the already huge numbers of offices All that in a recession which will go on for some time yet so things will undoubtedly slow down. No city better placed when the bounce back comes though. “What Manchester does today” as the saying goes.

By NoRomanc

People complain over nothing. literally

By stopcomplaining

Come on Manchester get your act together .


There is an article in the Guardian today, which claims Manchester’s rent increases, are outstripping everywhere. There is huge demand for accommodation in the city and it is important that what is on offer, is appealing. I can’t make my mind up on this. It will blend in with public transport, when all the buses are re-sprayed to fit in with the trams.

By Elephant

Ooh who to believe, lots of professional reports including those via PNW together with a well respected national newspaper saying basically that they can’t build accommodation fast enough for Manchester’s growth, or some bloke saying “but I’ve seen some empty apartments somewhere “ It really is a tough one.

By Steve

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