325 Deansgate

Ask unveils 21-storey Deansgate tower

Charlie Schouten

Ask has held a public consultation on its latest development in Manchester, a 21-storey tower designed by SimpsonHaugh at 325-327 Deansgate, set to host StayCity’s fourth aparthotel in the city centre.

The proposals are for the site bordering the Deansgate Pub at a plot on Trafford Street to the north; Century Street to the east; and the Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink stairway to the south. The site includes the former Poggenpohl kitchen showroom, which closed earlier this year.

SimpsonHaugh’s designs are for a 21-storey tower which will provide a 310-room aparthotel for StayCity; railway arches underneath the Castlefield Viaduct will also be opened up to create two retail and leisure units, including one that opens onto Whitworth Street West.

The Deansgate pub, which sits next to the site and hosted the public consultation on 3 October, will be retained and will remain open throughout the project; a separate planning application will also be brought forward to extend and improve the pub’s existing roof terrace for use by its patrons. There will also be an additional terrace brought forward on the pub’s roof.

At the consultation event, Ask Real Estate managing director John Hughes set out the proposed timeline for the project to Place North West.

Following feedback from the consultation, the developer is hoping to submit a planning application in November to go to planning committee in February; following appointment of a main contractor, a 20-month construction programme is likely to begin in Q2 2019, with completion in 2021.

A development agreement has already been signed with StayCity to build out the project, subject to planning approval, making it the operator’s fourth site in the city. It already operates an aparthotel in the ‘Lazy S’ building by Piccadilly Station, while a further two are under construction: one at Three St Peter’s Square, built by Russells, and another in Ancoats, being built by Bardsley.

Hughes told Place “conversations had taken place” with main contractors but an appointment is not expected in the near-term. The build cost will be around £30m.

The design for the scheme has already gone through a review with Places Matter, while the team on the project said “height was never an issue” following feedback from Manchester City Council planners; the main issues, leading to small design tweaks, were with the building’s facade facing the Deansgate. This has been altered to sit slightly back from the pub to allow more windows to be added to this elevation.

The professional team also includes planner Deloitte, Cundall, and Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture.

Consultation on the project will be open until 17 October; responses can be emailed to consultation@deloitte.co.uk.325 Deansgate 2

Your Comments

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I wonder what the view from cloud 23 will be like after this?

By Macclesfield 88

View from cloud 23 will probably be ok. I would have liked it to have gone higher but would have expected complaints from the apartments owners above cloud 23 blocking their view!

By Manc81

Well that’s one way to make your building disappear in a render! Line it up with the Beetham!

By hmmmm

Were building too tall in Manchester, there should be a restricted height.


21 storeys never looked so small.


Another tall ugly building for Manchester.

By AllRise

Very disappointing CGI. Not a single bird in the sky, let alone the usual flock. Is it winter?

By Bill Oddie

A nice challenging build out! Agree with the CGI comments – awful.


This looks entirely out of place and destroys the view of Manchester’s most iconic building.

By Daniel

Looks good and will improve the area. Ask are back!

By Derek

Bill Oddie – it says it was a consultation, perhaps that’s why the images are not cgi’s…

By Cornelius L

Daniel: behave – a big glass block can’t be iconic. Blocking the view of the Beetham isn’t the end of the world. This isn’t a terrible design and fits with the other bland towers planned/on-site for the area.

By Yawn

How fitting lol

By treq

Going to echo the other comments – terrible CGI.
No birds, no aspirational young adults, not even got any unrealistically vibrant green.

Not sure on the development though, on one hand it’s not shockingly poor but on the other it’s isn’t great. AF is talking a load of nonsense about height, that’s all I can say for sure here.

By Daveboi

I heartily approve of the second CGI. It looks just like a Dell 42u server rack I used to own.

By Bill Gates

And the prize for inspiration goes to……………… stickle bricks!

By Denys Fisher


By Anonymous

In Liverpool it would look good of course but in Manchester just no.


A nice balance between solid and glazed on this one.

By Nice


By C.W.

OHH – couldn’t agree more. You can get away with a lower quality design in a waterfront city, but in a particularly grey inland city with few redeeming natural features, you need something decent.

I’m surprised people aren’t trying to claim this is world-class though – its actually not terrible compared to the other dross in Manchester.

By Riann

OHH you are awful!

By Dickie Emerry

Ohh in Liverpool there would be no real need for it sadly.Apart from perhaps as temporary accommodation for students.I defend Liverpool on here but the gap between the two cities is now a chasm.

By Elephant

Well, at least they didn’t try claiming it to be ‘iconic’ or a ‘landmark’ building, as it’s clearly neither.

It’s not clear from that second image, will it be overhanging the tramlines? Because Simpson Haugh designed Beetham Tower had terrible problems with glass falling off that. If this overhangs the tramlines, and if similar problems occur, it would bring the Metrolink to a standstill in-out of the city to the south.

By Mrs Gaskell

Although in fairness Elephant, your ‘defence of Liverpool’ always has a whiff of the Vichy about it.

By Denby

Not sure about this one. It would have been useful to see the CGI show the other ASK development at the Bauer Miller site to give it more context.

By Anon

Not just flares making a comeback from the 70s

By zoro

It’s brilliant if were being truly honest

By A

It blocks the view of the giant USB stick, not impressed

By LionelRichTea

@Elephant, your comment might be seen as slightly disingenuous towards Liverpool. Stay City have properties in Liverpool and as already disclosed by myself we have short and long term visitors staying at our properties too. In fact there are large refits happening in Liverpool at present one is one term with over 1,000 contractors on site at various times gor about 18 months or so. So this scale of development would not go amiss in Liverpool too. It does look like a scaled down version of the u/c Hive Building though!

By Man on a bicycle

@Daniel I agree. Irrespective of it’s age or building materials, the ‘Hilton’ is iconic. The CGI looking back up Deansgate from St. George’s Island looks ridiculous.

By Cyril

Roads already close to collapsing, disruption from Axis building just finishing, now to be replaced by another complex build bringing more disruption for another two years. Speaking as a city centre resident:
When is the council going to have a proper tall buildings policy?
When are we going to get the infrastructure all this council tax grabbing bonanza is bringing?
What about the increase in traffic?
Where is set-down and drop going to happen?
Deansgate / Liverpool road is already super dangerous for pedestrians…

By Chris