Renaissance PAG
Jon Matthews Architects designed the project. Credit: via planning documents

Success for part one of Renaissance upgrade 

Dan Whelan

The hotel portion of Property Alliance Group and Starwood Capital’s £200m redevelopment of the prominent Manchester site has been approved by the city council. 

Under the proposals, lodged in May, the former Renaissance hotel building on Deansgate is to be refurbished and relaunched under SH Hotels & Resorts’ Treehouse brand. 

The 216-bedroom Manchester offering is to be the second Treehouse hotel in the UK following the brand’s maiden opening in London in 2019. 

The hotel operator is owned by an affiliate of US-based investor Starwood, which bought the site in joint venture with Property Alliance Group earlier this year. 

Eyebrows were raised when the developers revealed they would repurpose the 1970s hotel building rather than demolish it, as many commentators consider it an eyesore.  

However, others applauded the joint venture for its sustainable approach to the site’s redevelopment.  

The three-part revamp of the site has been designed by Jon Matthews Architects. 

Plans for the office element of the project were submitted in July and propose the partial demolition of the vacant Premier House office building. The majority of the building is to be upgraded and will provide 40,000 sq ft of workspace once complete. 

The residential part of the scheme, featuring a 27-storey tower comprising 300 apartments, is out for consultation. 

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Just horrific. They could have done something amazing with this site.

By 1981

Really good approach retaining the tower from an environmental POV. Know a lot of people want it all torn down or whatever, but we can’t keep doing that when structures are fundamentally sound. The hyperbolic reactions you see from people who are just outraged that it will be left standing… it’s time to grow up. Climate change is an concern which overrides your aesthetic sensibilities.

By Alex

A good clean and it’s no worse than everything else in Manchester. Of course Manchester architecture is no match for Liverpool but it is what it is.

By Nimble nimbly

People are upset with the tower being retained because it is ugly as hell and the changes being made to it barely address it’s shortcomings.

By Kindofnew

Why are they keeping such an awful building? Those so called ‘renovations’ will do nothing! This building should be torn down with a beautiful, iconic skyscraper suitable for a 21st century city centre built in its place.

By Matt

I think it fits in perfectly with Manchester’s eclectic mix of architecture. It’s not quite a Liver building, but on the grand scheme of things Manchester’s done worse.

By Liverpool romance

Admittedly the Liver building is a better piece of architecture than the Renaissance Hotel on Deansgate but it’s not exactly the Taj Mahal. The Liver building is in a great location but is a rather dull early 20th century office block. Liverpool does have some excellent buildings but the Liver building isn’t one of them.

By Monty

The Liver building was – and still is – the worlds first skyscraper that gave inspiration to New York. Indeed; there would be no Beetham Tower without it.
Another fine piece of architecture in Liverpool is the sandcastl, though it does divide opinion; very much like the Renaissance Hotel does.

By Liverpool romance

@Monty – C’mon that’s stretching it a bit. The Liver Building is Europe’s first ever skyscraper and Britain’s first reinforced concrete framed building. Architecturally speaking, there aren’t many buildings like it outside of New York or Chicago. Although, I believe Oriel Chambers is more achitecturally important than the Liver Building (if I am correct, the first curtain walled building in the world).

By Old Hall Street

@kindofnew That’s what I’m saying, it’s not the most important concern. Climate change is more important than whether it’s “ugly as hell”. It is what it is – a perfectly sound building which doesn’t need tearing down. Far better to keep it and re-use from an environmental perspective.

By Alex

What’s the Liver Building got to do with it? A better Liverpool comparison would be the black hotel facing Lime Street station – the one surrounded by the blue plastic wall. The Renaissance will be the Hanging Gardens of Babylon next to that.

By HSR

I’m not disputing the historic importance of the Liver building and its impressive location I just think it lacks architectural significance. Liverpool has many more impressive buildings which should be celebrated above the Liver building.

By Monty