Fusion Students, Deansgate CGI
Corstorphine + Wright Architects has designed the scheme

Fusion plots 27-storey Manchester tower 

Dan Whelan

The London-headquartered student accommodation developer wants to build a 500-bedroom complex off Deansgate South between Renaker’s Castle Wharf and Deansgate Square.

Designed by Corstorphine + Wright Architects, the tower could also feature a gym, cinema and karaoke rooms and social study spaces and represents an investment of around £40m from Fusion Students.

The project is Fusion’s first in Manchester and the company also has sites in Cardiff and Hatfield. 

The constricted site, allocated for development under the Great Jackson Street redevelopment framework, has been subject to a high degree of interest from developers over recent years.

In 2017, developer Beech Holdings won consent for a 17-storey block comprising 84 apartments that was designed by architect Hodder + Partners. However, work never started on site. 

Beech bought the site from developer Knott Mill Securities in 2016 with extant consent for a 13-storey block with 53 apartments. 

Fusion’s proposals follow Manchester City Council’s plans to encourage more purpose-built student accommodation to be built in the city centre. 

Agency Cushman & Wakefield is the planning consultant for the project. 

Fusion Deansgate

The scheme is Fusion’s first in Manchester and second in the North West

Warren Rosenberg, co-founder of Fusion Students, said: “As a global university destination with a student population that will only continue to grow, our multimillion-pound scheme offers something new for Manchester students.  

“The Deansgate site has been vacant for a number of years and has been the subject of numerous planning consents that have fallen through due to viability.”

He added: “Our ambition for dedicated student residential development is fully funded and is the only way to solve what is currently an eyesore at a prominent location on the edge of the city centre.” 

A consultation on the plans will run from today until 17 November and Fusion aims to submit a planning application by the end of the year. 

The developer recently won consent for a 420-bedroom scheme on the site of the former Hondo Chinese supermarket in Liverpool, also designed by Corstorphine + Wright Architects.

Your Comments

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I like the look of this one, not sure we need even more student accommodation though. It certainly makes good use of an awkward plot.

By Jon P

Nice design. It’s about time this site was developed.

By Steve

I think more student accommodation helps reduce the burden on housing stock in the suburbs, which could be repurposed.

By MB

I like the design of this, and the fact that it allows the emerging skyline to step down from the new buildings at Great Jackson Street, creating a more harmonious cityscape. With regards to more student rooms, the additional rooms can only help persuade students away from HMOs if the additional space encourages older student developments to lower their prices. Otherwise, there is little incentive for those to leave the more affordable housing that HMOs provide, and therefore not achieving the availability of housing that can provide taxable income for the local authority.

By Andrew

This looks good, hopefully the materials are top-notch, but either way it makes a nice step from Castle Wharf into Great Jackson Street.

By Bob

I also like the look of this and it’s a good use of this small plot of land. Easy access to the university, the local bars and public transport, too.

By EOD

The building itself is fine, but where is the space for people, trees and seating? The only pedestrian area I can see is the existing pavement, which is now sandwiched between a 27-storey building and a large busy junction or Chester Road. It is a tricky plot, but was there no other alternative to creating a desolate hard landscape? These are not people-friendly urban spaces.

By Al

I agree with the above comment by Jon P – this makes good use of an awkward site. While no-one can really predict the future student numbers immediately post-Covid, I think freeing up the inner suburbs of Fallowfield/Victoria Park for more “permanent” residents is a good move on MCC’s part.

By Bradford

Excellent design, I really like it.

By Monty

How this looks outside of a CGI will depend on the materials and finish but it’s a good use of an awkward space. Interesting that it’s the second ‘Flat Iron’ perspective proposed in Manchester recently, after the hotel near Piccadilly.

By Nve

I’ve got no issue with the design, but more student accommodation does nothing to increase the diversity of city centre residents.

By John

I think the renders are deceptive, it’s too basic a building for its size. It looks almost like post-war social housing to me. The glazed bit at the front is fine, though. It is going to be a bit of a hodge-podge of different towers too, so we need a proper plan. The laissez-faire approach won’t work.

By Ignacio

Looks industrial but quite slick at the same time. This is more like it, Manchester.

By Anonymous

There are no student properties in this part of the city centre so it will diversify this localised area. The Transition development directly across the road has a proportion of retirement units, as well as a dentist and commercial space. Hopefully developments like this lead to a change of use of good housing stock from HMO to single family-owned properties, in places like Withington, Fallowfield and so on.

By Jay