Developer and contractor Downing is understood to have exchanged contracts with Patrizia Immobilien to buy a First Street plot with planning consent for 624 apartments, for around £18m.
Patrizia gained consent for the scheme in May 2016. Designed by CallisonRTKL, the approval covers a PRS project across four blocks at the southern end of First Street. At its highest, the buildings would total 24 and 26 storeys.
Downing is already on site at the nearby River Street site, a long-stalled development which Downing took over in 2017. The 37-storey tower designed by SimpsonHaugh is targeted at students and totals 807 bedrooms for rent.
First Street has been a major mixed-use development area in Manchester over the last decade, and in the early stages was led by Ask Real Estate in partnership with Manchester City Council, before the scheme was sold in its entirety to German investor Patrizia in 2015, with Ask keeping a development manager role.
Ask then bought back into First Street, acquiring a plot at First Street Central through a joint venture with Richardson, with Patrizia retaining a 10% stake. Patrizia retained ownership of the southern end of the site.
Patrizia and Downing both declined to comment.