Invictus Start
Main contractor Gilbert Ash started work on the site in January

KE expands Manchester Moxy despite Covid 

Dan Whelan

Hotel developer KE Hotels will add an extra storey to its under-construction Moxy hotel on the edge of Spinningfields, adding a further 19 rooms “to ensure the project is deliverable and successful in the long-term” amid economic downturn. 

Plans for the first of Marriott Hotels’ Moxy brand in Manchester were first approved in 2017 and proposed the refurbishment of Invicta House and the construction of a nine-storey building to create a 145-bedroom hotel. 

However, refreshed plans, lodged in response to Covid-19’s effects on the hospitality industry, propose increasing the new-build part of the development to 10-storeys, taking the number of hotel rooms to 164. 

The measures were taken because the hotel would not be viable in its current form, according to a planning statement from consultancy Avison Young. 

“Despite the global coronavirus, the applicant and Marriott remain firmly committed to the Moxy Manchester project but are required to make the changes proposed within this planning applicatio to ensure the project is deliverable and successful in the long-term, something that the addition of the extra guestrooms will ensure,” the planning statement said. 

Moxy Hotel Manchester

Right, the updated scheme with additional storey

Speaking to Place North West, Anil Khanna, managing director of KE Hotels, said the move was a “statement of intent” that underlined the company’s commitment to the project.

The proposed increase in height and rooms has been approved by Manchester City Council. 

Gilbert Ash is the main contractor, which started on site in January and expects to complete the scheme in November 2021. ICA is the architect for the project.

Planning permission was first secured for the redevelopment and extension of the 15,000 sq ft Invicta House as an office scheme known as Silk Works, but in 2017 Henry Boot Developments, which is no longer involved in the project, opted to pivot to a hotel. 

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