Shepherd Construction has erected a 99-metre tower crane as construction progresses on developer Student Castle's 37-storey accommodation block next to Oxford Road station in central Manchester's.
The £45m building will rise to 112 metres when it completes in 2012, second only in height to the Hilton tower by Beetham at 301 Deansgate.
The 520-bed development, designed by Hodder + Partners, will accommodate undergraduates, postgraduates and international students with a mix of self-contained studio apartments and cluster-style communal accommodation.
The crane will initially only operate at a height of 54 metres but as construction progresses, the height will increase to 99 metres.
Peter Millett, managing director of Shepherd Construction's west division, said: "Having completed the preparation of the ground we are now starting to build skywards and people will notice a real transformation in the site."
Student Castle is backed by Carphone Warehouse directors Charles Dunstone and Roger Taylor. The company has live projects in Newcastle and Cardiff and is targeting a dozen university cities around the country.
Drivers Jonas Deloitte advises Student Castle.