Currently on the drawing board is this new hotel tower planned to stand on the site of the Theatre Royal, Manchester's oldest surviving theatre.
With this site history in mind, the development has proven a controversial idea for many who work in heritage but the tower has been designed to go above, over, and around the theatre preserving it for future generations.
At the insistence of English Heritage, the rules on the retention of parts of the theatre have been strict with structural elements of the building such as the beams supporting the roof being kept.
For the developers, the Benmore Group, the scheme is perfectly sited opposite Manchester Central Convention Centre, formerly known as the G Mex, and is close enough to be inside the security cordon for the convention centre. It's also a short walk away from Deansgate, the GN Tower and the Beetham Tower and has good tram links to Manchester's main stations.
The design has changed somewhat since first featured on this site. The building will now contain a 250-room hotel and luxury serviced apartments, and for those who want to fly in with a sense of style of recession struck Manchester, there's even a helipad thrown in.
With an estimated 48 floors, the building is sufficiently tall to reach skyscraper status and give Beetham's Hilton a run for its money on the skyline as well as being sufficiently close enough to the current tallest in Manchester to help form a coherent cluster.
The tower is anticipated at being the new venue for the Intercontinental Hotel Group in Manchester who have been looking for several years for a suitable building that can host their new five star hotel - in comparison, the Hilton is only four. The hotel, unlike others in Manchester owned by the group will actually bear their name rather than one of their more down-market brands making it only the second hotel in the United Kingdom to do so.
With a planning application now expected sooner than later, Intercontinental are expected to sign a deal with Benmore imminently in a move that should secure the construction of the tower and finally give Manchester its second skyscraper.
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