Melia hotel First Street

First image of wider First Street plans

Ask Developments has issued the first image of how Manchester's First Street could look when it's fully built out.

The move came as it confirmed it had signed up the Spanish hotel group Meliá Hotels International for a 208-bed, 4-star hotel hotel with a development value of £25m.

Place reported Meliá was close to sealing the deal on 11 January.

The Manchester hotel will be Meliá's third in the UK and the first to carry its Innside brand.

Gabriel Escarrer, chief executive and vice chairman of Meliá, said: "We are hugely excited about the culture-led vision for First Street in Manchester, a world-class city, ready for an Innside-brand hotel. Within our strategy to expand in the main European cities, the group is looking forward, subject to planning approval, to being located at such a vibrant destination."

 Design for new Cornerhouse and Library TheatreThe hotel will be an anchor tenant for the First Street development alongside the proposed 60,000 sq ft, £20m cultural centre incorporating the merged Cornerhouse and Library Theatre Company.

Plans for the hotel and the culture building will be submitted to Manchester City Council on 23 January. They cover a total floor space of 500,000 sq ft.

The cultural centre was designed by Dutch architect Mecanoo.

Ian Simpson Architects designed the other buildings, including the Melia hotel, a 700-space multi-storey car park, a 12-storey budget hotel and 30,000 sq ft of retail/leisure over 8-10 units.

There will also be a new public square equipped to host a variety of outdoor events and performances, together with a partially-covered arcade connecting through to Whitworth Street West and Oxford Road Station. Townshend is the landscape architect.

A planning decision is expected in April 2012 and if approved, construction is scheduled to start in July 2012 and it will be operational by summer 2014.

Ask's chief executive Ken Knott said: "Meliá's announcement, together with the detailed planning application for 500,000 sq ft, is a milestone moment for First Street.

"Anchored by the new home for the merged Cornerhouse and Library Theatre Company, the scale and quality of this development will transform its destination characteristics attracting up to 1m people a year and creating the amenities and sense of place so critical to attracting office occupiers to the 1m sq ft of affordable high quality floorspace proposed."

Manchester City Council leader, Sir Richard Leese, said: "The First Street North scheme and Meliá's choice of the city centre as their first UK investment for the Innside brand, is a multi million pound vote of confidence in Manchester's vision and ambition and is especially welcome in the current economic climate.

"The new cultural facility will be at the heart of the regeneration of the First Street site and beyond and a catalyst for attracting further jobs and investment. The wider developments are clear evidence that this important strategic project is gathering pace. As well as driving growth within First Street, one of the regional centre's key regeneration sites, it will stimulate the wider area including the Whitworth Street corridor."

Your Comments

Looks great but… Always wary of artist’s impressions and big promises from Ask. We Urmstonians were well impressed by their plans for our town six years ago, in particular the community spirit which was to be created with the formation of lovely new public spaces and an influx of small independent shops. Now it’s a half built eyesore with four different supermarkets as tenants. Not quite what we were hoping for when we blithely attended their public exhibiton all those years ago !

By Blonde

how disappointing

By rodney

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