Realty Estates owner Yousef Tishbi has denied market rumours that he is in the process of selling the former BBC site on Oxford Road and said that he intends to develop the scheme himself.
Speaking to Place North West, Tishbi said: "We have had a lot of people approach us, but we have not accepted anything. There is a lot of word in the town that we are looking to sell it, but that is a lie."
Yousef said he was in the process of appointing an architect to design the first phase of the scheme, which he said was down to a shortlist of "the top three architects in Manchester". That could reflect Manchester City Council's preference for Ian Simpson, Roger Stephenson and Stephen Hodder to design prominent city centre developments.
Realty Estates bought New Broadcasting House from the BBC in 2011 for an estimated £10m and the six-acre plot was vacated with all buildings later demolished when the BBC moved to Media City UK. The land has been used as a car park since the beginning of 2013.
A strategic regeneration framework for the site was prepared by Deloitte last year and approved by the council to guide the regeneration over the next 10 to 15 years. As part of discussions with Manchester City Council in October 2013 around the future of the site, Realty Estates said that it intended to start on site with the development this year.
Plans include an office-led mixed-use development including student accommodation, leisure facilities and a small supermarket. The scheme is likely to include retail space totalling 30,000 sq ft.
However, the site could remain a car park for a further 18 months under plans submitted to Manchester City Council from Aylward Town Planning on behalf of operator Total Car Parks.
Peter Skelton, development advisor at WHR, was retained by Realty Estates to draw up detailed proposals for a mixed-use scheme based around the agreed framework.
Under the current permission, use of the site for car parking would cease on 1 July 2014.