Developer Urban & Civic has unveiled its proposals for the Renaissance Hotel site on Manchester’s Deansgate, including a five-star hotel, 600 apartments, retail, and extensive public realm.
The site bordering Deansgate and Blackfriars Street has long been earmarked for redevelopment, and Urban & Civic has now outlined its future plans for the area, supported by Glenn Howells Architects.
The developer’s proposals include the demolition of the existing Ramada Renaissance Hotel and its associated car park on the site, and replacing it with three separate buildings.
Although the height of the buildings is yet to be disclosed, the building towards the North East of the site, fronting Cathedral Gardens, has been designated as tall.
These will include 600 one, two, and three bed apartments; a five-star hotel with 250 guest rooms alongside conferencing and leisure facilities; and ground floor retail including food, drink, and lifestyle retail.
Public realm proposals have been designed to “open up the river and views to the Cathedral” while there will also be improved pedestrian connections across the site, linking it with Greengate, the area around the Cathedral, and the Irwell.
Overall, public realm will take up around 86,000 sq ft, or 58% of the total site. This includes a central courtyard which will be the focal point for the development’s restaurants and bars at ground floor level, with views over the Irwell.
Manchester City Council’s executive has been asked to endorse a strategic regeneration framework for the site at a meeting on Wednesday, ahead of a public consultation.
The council said there were “significant constrains to demolishing and redeveloping the site, given its structural layout”.
The report to the executive added: “This has posed difficulties for previous owners in both masterplanning and funding terms, and has been one of the principal reasons that development has taken such a long time to be brought forward.”
The council currently owns the freehold of the site, which is on a 125-year lease currently held by Urban & Civic, and added it would look to put “a new fundable development lease” with the developer in place.
“The redevelopment of the Ramada Complex would represent the realisation of the final piece of the city centre renewal area masterplan established in 1999 to guide redevelopment of the bomb-damaged area of the city centre,” concluded the report.
“It would also consolidate the transformation of the rest of the retail core, which has been achieved through world-class retail development, high quality public realm and strong pedestrian connections.”
A design competition for the site was held last year, with Glenn Howells beating rival bidders SimpsonHaugh and Eric Parry.
The site’s former owner West Properties submitted a planning application in 2008 to build 248 apartments, a 250-bed hotel, 280,000 sq ft of offices, and 60,000 sq ft of retail, designed by Ian Simpson Architects, now known as SimpsonHaugh.
This was approved by the council in 2009, but was never progressed and lapsed in April 2014 after a 12-month extension.
Urban & Civic has been approached for comment.