Ronaldo hotel approved, Speakers House deferred  

Hotel firm Pestana’s 150-bed hotel in Manchester, backed by Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, has received the green light to go ahead, while a decision on Kames Property Income Fund’s proposed 135,000 sq ft Deansgate office scheme was deferred pending a site visit. 

Pestana CR7 Hotel 

FCB 67 Piccadilly Newton Street (1)

Feilden Clegg Bradley designed the hotel

Developer: Southern Estates – a joint venture between Eastern Estates and Pestana Hotels  

Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley  

Planner: Deloitte Real Estate   

Landowner Eastern Green and Portuguese hotel operator Pestana have won permission to build a 150-bedroom hotel close to Piccadilly Gardens under the Cristiano Ronaldo-backed CR7 brand. 

The four-star Manchester hotel will be created by converting the grade two-listed Halls Building at 67-75 Piccadilly.   

The redeveloped building will stand at 11 storeys tall and include ground floor retail and leisure uses and new public realm along Newton Street.  

The adjacent 67 Piccadilly, known as the Prince of Wales building because it was previously occupied by the Prince of Wales Life and Educational Assurance Company, will be demolished to make way for the scheme.  

Another building, 4-6 Newton Street, will be demolished under the plans revealed in June. Both buildings have been vacant for some time.  

The site is located within the Stevenson Square Conservation Area at a key entry point into Manchester’s Northern Quarter, with frontage onto Piccadilly.  

The most notable tenant on the plot is the Piccadilly Tavern pub on the ground floor of 71-75 Piccadilly. The pub operator is expected to retain the unit and reopen once the project completes.  

Pestana Hotels operates other hotels under different brands in London but this would be its first outside the UK capital.  

There are currently two Pestana CR7 hotels, and both are in Portugal. One is in Madeira, where Ronaldo was born, and the other is in Lisbon.

Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture advised on heritage and Colliers International advised on the formation of the joint venture. 

Speakers House 

39 Deansgate

The Deansgate scheme is designed by architect Sheppard Robson

Developer: Kames Property Income Fund, part of Aegon Asset Management   

Architect: Sheppard Robson  

Planner: CBRE  

Kames will have to wait if it is to win approval for the 135,000 sq ft office development after members of Manchester City Council’s planning committee requested a site visit to better understand the impact the project would have on heritage assets in the area. 

Deansgate Ward councillor William Jeavons highlighted the potential impact the development would have on the St Ann’s Conservation Square Area and the grade two-listed Barton Arcade on Deansgate. 

He also asked committee members to consider concerns of residents living in No1 Deansgate apartment development over the height of the development.

The developer proposes to demolish the existing buildings at 39 Deansgate and build a £40m, 17-storey office block.     

Built in 1963, Speakers House is nine storeys tall and has seven commercial units on the ground floor.    

The building underwent a superficial refurbishment in 2013 but has been described by officers as “in a poor state…lacking new infrastructure such as superfast broadband”, with inefficient floorplates and low floor-to-ceiling heights. 

Its tenants include Greggs, Spar and The Flight Centre, as well as developers Investar Property Group and City Living.  

A spokesperson for CBRE, Kames’ planning consultant, said it was “undertaking a relocation strategy” for the existing tenants, engaging in dialogue with all occupiers and working with them as required.    

The project team also includes Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture, Planit-IE, GIA, Renaissance, EDPI, BWB Consulting and Curtins.  

The committee members will carry out a site visit before December’s planning committee meeting. 

Your Comments

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Another great scheme from FCB, very much hoping to see it progress and in turn transform this corner or Piccadilly for the better.

By Resident

I’m all for the Deansgate proposals at 17floors. In the 21st century city centers have to create massing, in order to house, employ and support ever increasing demands on a successful city. This building is not intimidating nor out of place. I would be delighted to see a roof garden in the plans though.

By Robert Fuller

Speakers House – wow, an amazing scheme that the majority of people in Manchester would back, the building it is replacing is terrible. I would also question why the Manchester planning committee would need a site visit to such a prominent site on Deansgate, do they not live in the city?

By Bob

I’d question why Speakers House needs further inspection, yet the awful Travelodge proposal near Deansgate Locks is perfectly fine for Manchester City Council. The Speakers House project is much better than the building currently on this site.

By Jon P

Love the Deansgate scheme! Approve it please!

By Deansgate

Dear Mr Fuller, Skyscrapers are absent from almost all successful continental European cities, unlike unliveable US cities, due to city councils putting strict limits on building heights; like Munich which is the most attractive, want-to-live-in, booming residential and employment city in Germany; but devoid of skyscraping offices and high-rise apartments. Folk seem to want to live and work in human-centric surroundings, if they have the choice. Manchester city urban planning department — are you listening?

By Anonymous

Two excellent schemes. No doubt both will be approved in time…in the meantime the committee must have a day out. That’ll be nice for them.

By Nve

‘Skyscrapers are absent from almost all successful continental European cities,’ Really?…London, Paris. Frankfurt, Madrid etc etc..We can all be selective…. of course that’s what confirmation bias is.

By Cityscape

The Speakers House proposal is one of the few that actually looks eye catching. If Manchester wants to mature and gain kudos and become the undisputed second city, it has to start creating a proper skyline and erect skyscrapers of true class and height and stop standing in the way of progressive proposals like Speakers House. Too many sites have been wasted on low rise schemes and planners need to reflect this so we can keep going higher and create a growing core.

By P

The Deansgate office needs approving, the design is great and that side of the city centre really needs it. Similar to how the council want the renaissance hotel redevelopment to be a gateway centrepiece entrance to the city, they have the potential to create the same here. Pedestrians will look up in awe at each corner of the junction, No1 Deansgate, Speakers House, and the Renaissance redevelopment.
Exactly what we need, stop letting the south end of Deansgate have all the fun.

By Rob T

17 floors is a tiddler these days in Manchester but sized appropriately for its location and it looks great. Manchester does seem to be be playing a blinder in getting these offices and apartments approved and built. Couldn’t have dreamed of all of this 10-15 years ago.

By James

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