Former Ask director Stephen Cliff has announced the first projects he will undertake through his new company, Vision Developments.
Cliff has formed Vision with Irish-based property investor Morgan Leahy, whom he first met four years ago when Cliff handled the sale of the Bauhaus office building on Quay Street in Manchester by Ask to Leahy for £20m.
The new partners will start with the redevelopment of Barton Square, the thoroughfare behind the 1870s Barton Arcade, which connects Deansgate and St Ann's Square in Manchester city centre.
The pair plans a new street with a variety of retail and leisure uses. Leahy already owns Barton Arcade and the adjacent Lancaster Building.
In Liverpool, Vision has formed a joint venture with Cheshire-based developer Chris Oakes's Huntsmere to redevelop former council buildings on Crosshall and Victoria Street in the city centre.
The 100,000 sq ft scheme comprises three buildings; an old Calvinistic Chapel, a Victorian office building known as Crosshall Building and the 1960s former council office formerly known as the Tinlings Building.
Vision will lead the project to deliver 70,000 sq ft of offices, including 30,000 sq ft of owner-occupier suites and a 50-bedroomed boutique hotel.
A planning application will be made in the autumn to replace the existing planning consent that includes a residential element.
Cliff said: "We are really excited to be bringing forward this scheme in Liverpool with Huntsmere. The development will transform the street and the three buildings that front onto it, and is a good example of the development Vision will be focusing on."
"The current climate will provide the right opportunities for development companies who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and work hard to move projects forward. The immediate future is challenging, but with a sensible approach and the right projects, Vision Developments is well placed to meet those challenges head on."