Manchester needs a competitive five-star hotel market to continue to grow, according to Allied London chief executive Mike Ingall, currently seeking an operator for a hotel in The Manchester tower.
Ingall said: "I think The Manchester's hotel will trade off The Lowry in a cluster in that part of the city and benefit us both because we will have similar room sizes and service levels. This will help attract international business visitors and reassure them there is more than one place to stay if The Lowry is full. Without more excellent hotels we won't see Manchester continue to grow."
A hotel operator is expected to be signed by March or April next year, Ingall said, with a start on site in the autumn. Knight Frank has been appointed to handle the hotel selection process and is inviting expressions of interest from operators and investors.
The detailed plans for the tower will follow the appointment of the hotel company, Ingall added: "If we can't find the right operator frankly we won't build the building. We are talking to two or three [hotel companies] that have only just entered the UK and are interested in what Manchester and Spinningfields now has to offer."
Ingall is also focused on attracting a signature chef to the restaurant at The Manchester, which could be run separately from the hotel, and "the best bar in the city" on the twelfth floor.
The 24-storey building will be situated on Bridge Street at the northern gateway to Spinningfields. The 200-room hotel will occupy the lower 12 floors. The upper 12 floors will contain 200 apartments, with private entrance, roof garden and full access to all hotel services.
The Manchester was designed by Make Architects, the architectural practice set up by Ken Shuttleworth, designer of London's famous Swiss Re tower, following an international architecture competition.
Spinningfields represents a total investment of £1.5bn, and boasts 4.6m sq ft of mixed-use development between the River Irwell and Deansgate.