The previously proposed office scheme. Credit: via planning documents

PAG and Starwood progress £200m Renaissance overhaul 

The joint venture has detailed the first phase of its plans to redevelop the Deansgate site into a mixed-use scheme involving the revamp of the vacant 206-bedroom hotel and the Premier House office building.

The partnership between Property Alliance Group and a controlled affiliate of US-based investor Starwood Capital Group bought the site earlier this year for an undisclosed sum.

A consultation on the first phase of plans opens today and will run until 9 April. 

The four-star Renaissance hotel, part of Marriott Group, closed permanently on 15 July 2020 citing weak demand compounded by the pandemic. Working with Jon Matthews Architects, the JV wants to “undertake the high-quality redevelopment of the existing hotel” rather than demolishing it, in an attempt to “reposition [the building] as a market-leading upscale hotel”.

PAG and Starwood say they are in talks with a “leading operator” to run the replacement hotel, which would feature a revamped reception lobby with a food and beverage area, a mezzanine level with suites, function rooms and a gym, as well as a bar and restaurant on the top floor, and an open terrace with private dining rooms. 

Earlier this month, PAG lodged a planning application to replace the hotel’s existing windows, the first part of the package of refurbishments.

Elsewhere within the first phase of the £200m project, the vacant Premier House office building is to be revamped to provide 40,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, according to the JV.

Renaissance Manchester Site Aerial

The JV bought the site earlier this year

Part of the office building is to be demolished to make way for the new-build residential block, to be located on the corner of Deansgate and Victoria Bridge Street. 

Plans for the new-build residential element featuring around 290 apartments will be subject to an additional public consultation expected later this year.

Subject to planning approval for the first phase, the joint venture aims to start on site later this year. 

Alex Russell, managing director of PAG, said: “This is a significant scheme, which will regenerate a part of the city that has been earmarked for development for many years.  

“Our plans for the hotel and offices form part of the scheme’s first phase and we hope that by the summer, we will be in a position to unveil details of the new homes.”  

“It’s unfortunate that we can’t unveil our plans in person because of Covid-19 restrictions, but we hope that people will take the opportunity to view the proposals online. We look forward to receiving feedback, so that this can be considered before we submit our planning application.” 

Avison Young is the planning consultant and Planit-IE is the landscape architect. 

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Gone are the exciting plans we once read.

It reads that they want to do a cheap style piccadilly plaza refurb and maximize their profit by placing a high rise 290 apartment block opposite the cathedral.

My only thinking is someone told them No.1 deansgate would complain again at any attempt to build something opposite to them (it still annoys me how the office block got turned now).

By Tomo

This monstrosity needs to be demolished, you can’t polish a …

By Dom

Truly awful!

By Bob

They should be lauded for retaining the existing building, but covering it in flimsy structures and cheap-looking add ons makes it look worse than before. Not to mention that artwork on the gable

By Denizen

This is horrible. It looks like a building on a ring road in Luton. What is that strange bendy mirage behind it?

By Elephant

Brilliant news that this is being refurbished rather than demolished. There’s so much embodied energy and construction materials within existing buildings like this. In a lot of cases it is much more environmentally friendly / resource efficient to refurbish existing buildings rather than demolish and build new.

The existing building does have a certain brutalist aesthetic, although any refurbishment will probably improve the appearance as there looks to be a lot of concrete staining currently.

By Green credentials

Please can someone start a petition for this site to be fully demolished and re-planned, too important a site in Manchester to just do a cheap paint job.

By Another Mancunian

Appreciate that they don’t want to knock up a new glass tower, but there has to be better solutions that this. The wooden cladding is nice, but the astro turf at the back and odd murals just seen to stick out on the brutal architecture of the building.

By No Comment

I saw this set of buildings built. I’ve watched it lie largely empty and decaying for most of my life. This ugly slab of a building has blighted this part of the city for 50 years now.

We’ve waited in anticipation since the 1997 plan to rebuild this largely derelict block.
…and then erm.. this.

The proposal offers nothing new. The hotel remains as it is now – a converted office block pretending to be a hotel. The row of units will be re-clad but largely remain in plan the same, with offices above as before. The river front will still sit under the shadow of the hotel and multi-storey car park – a dark, damp cul-de-sac – inaccessible and invisible from Deansgate. The proposed residential tower simply infills the northern part of the same impenetrable slab.

The environmental ‘advantages’ of not demolishing in this case seem disingenuous – rather a blatant smoke screen to disguise a lack of funding in this proposal that a true re-development of this site requires, and that the city deserves after all this time.

The added trinkets on the roof and mural expose this as largely an interior design project for the hotel – and run contrary to the claim of ‘high quality’ repeated constantly in the proposal document.

Sorry people, but as the final piece of the promised 1997 rebuilding plan this proposal is a dire disappointment.

By Stu

You need to ask yourselves why this is still the mess that it is when you consider the levels of investment in the city over the last 25 years. Even Sir Howard’s serendipity couldn’t unlock this one despite significant efforts. The reality is that the numbers for redevelopment don’t work. Many have tried and failed. The last owners sorted out Origin but they couldn’t make this one work. This brings a fantastic hotel to the site and reprofiles and repurposes Deansgate. Unless one of you has 300m that you can afford to have tied up for five years, you should get behind this.

By Redenuff

Really excellent news and I like the plans. Well thought out, sympathetic to the immediate area and realistic. For all those criticising, it’s not easy to demolish such a huge site and one on the edge of a river too, as has been proven for the past few decades with no proposal actually coming to fruition.

By Anonymous

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