Contour Homes is transforming 64 former university homes into apartments aimed at young professionals in Hulme.
The homes at the former Brian Redhead Court, off Jackson Crescent, are being refurbished as part of a £1.7m project.
Once complete, the development will be known as Schoolhouse.
The scheme will be the first time Salford-based Contour Homes has provided homes to let in the private rental market.
The wider site, which includes apartments inside a grade 2-listed former school, will include the creation of a new courtyard and landscaping. The apartments will share communal gardens and there will be private parking on site.
The properties were previously used as student accommodation but were standing empty. Work on the redevelopment began before Christmas with the first apartments expected to finish in March.
Phil Corris, assistant director of Contour Homes, said: "This is our first venture into the private rental sector and is a response to a shortage of good quality, well-managed accommodation in Hulme and Manchester city centre.
"We are very aware of the challenges facing young people in raising mortgages to buy a property, and as a responsible housing provider, we believe we have a role to play in offering an alternative."
CBRE is providing Contour Homes with a full service on the development, including project management, building contract administration and engineering services.
Manchester-based Jeffrey Bell Architects are leading the design process, and the letting agent is Bridgfords.
Andrew Purdon, of CBRE's national land and development team, said: "We have provided a multi-disciplinary team from across our business and supplemented it with a fantastic architect in Jeff Bell to provide Contour Homes with a total solution.
"We are confident the project will be a great success and offer high-specification rental stock to the under-supplied Manchester market."