Premier House, PAG, P. Jon Matthews Architects
The existing brutalist building is to be stripped back and refurbished. Credit: Jon Matthews Architects

Plans lodged for next phase of Renaissance regen 

Dan Whelan

Property Alliance Group and joint venture partner Starwood Capital have submitted an application for the office element of the three-part, £200m redevelopment of the Manchester site. 

The vacant Premier House office building is to be partly demolished and revamped to provide 40,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, under plans lodged by Deansgate SOF Alliance LeaseCo.

The existing brutalist building is to be stripped back and refurbished, so it is “to all intents and purposes a new building”, according to a design and access statement by Jon Matthews Architects. 

In addition, the office scheme will feature: 

  • An improved entrance on the corner of Deansgate and Blackfriars Street 
  • New retail/leisure floorspace at ground floor level creating a new active frontage 
  • Refreshed facades across all elevations to modernise and enliven the appearance of the building 
Premier House, PAG 2, P. Jon Matthews Architects

Part of Premier House is to be demolished to make way for the residential phase of the project. Credit: Jon Matthews Architects

Avison Young is the planning consultant for the project.

Rob Peill, head of offices and industrial at Property Alliance Group, said: “Our proposal will transform an outdated office building into market-leading Grade A space, complemented by retail and leisure units on the ground floor.   

“Submitting our plans for Premier House marks the second step in our masterplan to regenerate the Renaissance site with a £200m investment.” 

Other elements of the project include a 216-bedroom hotel, and a residential tower featuring around 290 apartments to the north of the site fronting Deansgate and Victoria Bridge Street. 

An application for the hotel element has been submitted to Manchester City Council and a consultation on the residential scheme is to launch in the coming days. 

In May, it was announced that SH Hotels & Resorts is to operate the 216-bedroom hotel under its Treehouse brand. 

Work to make the existing hotel building watertight and to demolish some structures on the site is underway. 

Subject to planning approval, the project could complete by 2023.

PAG and Starwood bought the 1970s Manchester hotel site in January from previous owner Urban & Civic following the closure of the four-star Renaissance hotel in July 2020.

However, even before the hotel’s closure, the site has long been the subject of developer interest and has been earmarked for redevelopment since 1999. Latterly, Urban & Civic appointed Glenn Howells Architects to design a masterplan encompassing the hotel and nearby area, which was approved by the council in 2018.

The masterplan outlined the potential for three towers ranging in height from 11 to 45 storeys, containing a 250-bed five-star hotel, 600 apartments, a conference centre, retail and public space.

Your Comments

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This is absolutely awful. You can check out the SkyscaperCity forum to see that everyone shares this opinion.

Just demolish it and start afresh! This isn’t good enough!

By Robert

Its a shame the previous proposal isn’t coming forward but given the current economic climate and quick speed of delivery this is actually quite good. Especially welcome in a growing and prominent area of the city that is currently an eyesore

By Birdman

This scheme is massively disappointing. It still looks awful especially with a load of garden furniture stuck onto it. It should be knocked down. Also the scheme retains both the ugly car park and makes no effort to make the riverside more accessible.

By Jon P

Average aspirations, and spreadsheet development . Poor

By Jack

Awful. Get rid of this desperate structure.

By Elephant

Good news. Whatever they do will be a huge improvement on the festering eyesore that’s polluted this corner for years now.

By Trevor

After the immediate shock of the hotel not being demolished, with a clean and proper refurb it will look like a new build (certainly at the front). The rear is still a little disastrous. The new refurb of Premier House is impressive. It’s a shame they didn’t propose the wood as this would fit in with PAG’s sustainability programme. The cladding is also similar to Speaker’s House, of which I’m hopeful they will appeal the refused decision. Look forward to seeing the final piece, the residential tower later this year.

By Andrew

I agree with Trevor, anything is better than the present mess. Great news that something, anything is being done. Saying that i understand the negative comments.

By Phildered

I understand the sums might not stack up for a complete demolition of the hotel. But a middle ground where everything around it was demolished bringing the river into play and a new build fronting deansgate would be much better

By Tomo

A expensive sticking plaster. Already coming off.

By jrb

The redevelopment of the site in this incarnation clearly aligns with the councils carbon reduction policies

By Bradford

I know you can’t polish a (fill in the blanks) but £200m buys you an awful lot of polish. I would rather have the whole site completely redeveloped but the the accountants as well as Greta Thunberg say no. This site needs to change and I agree with others it has been a festering eyesore for far too long so let’s get on with it before the next big financial crisis hits and we have to pay for everything in Bitcoin.

By Cityscape

This is such good news. This is such a complicated site and I thought I’d see anything happen here. It needed a fresh pair of eyes and PAG have provided that. Sure we’d all have preferred a comprehensive redevelopment but the numbers have never stacked up over 25 years and wouldn’t for the next 25 years. This will transform this part of the city…….let’s get behind it!!

By Redov