THE STORY

SO FAR

Within the last 15 years, three developers have put forward proposals to transform the Renaissance site, which have never materialised. Finding a viable solution to unlock the potential of the site has remained out of reach, largely driven by high demolition and construction costs.


Working closely with Manchester City Council, the joint venture is aiming to break down the barriers that have so far prevented regeneration.  


The new proposals will finally complete the city centre renewal plan, drawn up after the IRA bomb in June 1996. The first phase of the masterplan, which includes redeveloping the hotel and office space, is rapidly taking shape. A planning application has already been submitted with another due to be submitted in June this year.

The next chapter

Alliance has long admired this prominent Manchester site, while acknowledging the challenges it brings with regard to unlocking the development.

 

Complicating factors of the current site include the height of the existing hotel tower, its proximity to the river and the main Deansgate thoroughfare. These challenges, combined with the high capital required to address them, mean that complete demolition and rebuild is unviable. Many developers have looked at the range of specialisms that would be required and the project’s long-term return and decided that this approach was unfeasible.

 

At Alliance, we look at things differently. We have used all our knowledge and expertise to establish the best use for the Renaissance site and we couldn’t be more excited by our plans.

 

This website will be used to provide progress updates as we finally see this part of Manchester come to life.

 

THE VISION

Plans are now underway to transform the plot and regenerate a key part of the city centre which has stood still since the Manchester bomb 25 years ago.

 

We have concluded that the best option is a mixed-use development, including a hotel, office, and residential element along with a food and beverage offering. This will bring many more benefits to Manchester than a single-use scheme, including the potential for 220 new jobs within the hotel and the opportunity to create a stand-out destination within the city centre.

 
We are proposing to retain the original hotel tower instead of demolishing and rebuilding, spending £25m on its redevelopment. In doing so, we have attracted one of the most exciting global hotel brands – Treehouse – to Manchester, which will completely change the perception of the building and drive footfall and activity to the site.

 

Our proposal seeks to fully modernise and radically transform the hotel internally and externally, and includes a new top floor restaurant as well as a rooftop terrace for everyone to enjoy.

 

Retaining the tower offers significant environmental benefits too. [Detailed in the Sustainbility section] And it allows for the hotel to reopen in Q1 2023 – which is crucial to the overall scheme’s viability and reactivating this key part of the city centre.

 

​The Deansgate facade of the existing office building (Premier House) is made up of over 100 metres plus of inactive frontage. The ramp will be demolished as part of the works to Premier House. The existing carriageway is a vast 15.5 metres wide with little thought given to pedestrians on the narrow pavements either site.

These issues will be addressed and Deansgate re-animated. The public realm will become more pedestrian focused, with active frontages, spill out space and generous circulation space to link routes through to the Cathedral & towards the south of Deansgate.

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The public realm will be reconfigured to create a destination along Deansgate with a focus on greening the space and providing a place for people, rather than vehicles.​

 

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THE BENEFITS

Treehouse Hotel London
Treehouse Hotel London
Treehouse Hotel London
Treehouse Hotel London
Treehouse Hotel London
  • Funding secured to enable a £200m investment into the city centre.

  • Regeneration of a site that has remained undeveloped for more than two decades, completing the final piece of the jigsaw in the city-centre renewal plan.

  • A design combining refurbishment and new build to deliver a mixed-use scheme which can be delivered quickly and effectively – ensuring the site won’t be left to deteriorate for another decade. 

  • Increased footfall for local shops, restaurant and bars generated by the residential, hotel and office uses.

  • A sustainable hotel redevelopment, generating around 40 per cent less CO2 compared to constructing a new build hotel of the same size.

  • Potential for 220 new jobs created by the development and 660 through construction. 

  • A vibrant and exciting new hotel offer for Manchester which could be open by Q1 2023.

  • Feature rooftop Treehouse bar and dining terrace added to offer breath-taking views over central Manchester and animating the roofscape. 

  • 13th floor skyline restaurant and bar to create a premium destination food and beverage offering.

  • Convenient, central location for hotel visitors and residents, close to shops, car parking and the arena.

  • Attractive office accommodation with views down Deansgate, direct access to the hotel’s amenities, and the potential for outside space.

  • The opportunity for a pedestrian and cyclist friendly site with new outdoor spaces.

  • Delivered by a joint venture skilled in creating mixed-use developments and with extensive knowledge of the hospitality sector and Manchester.

REDUCING CARBON 

EMISSIONS

“The greenest building is one that already exists” 

 

The design team has embraced the ethos of the Architects Journal ‘RetroFirst’ campaign when considering the approach to a sustainable and deliverable masterplan. Underlining our commitment to sustainably responsible construction, refurbishing the hotel offers significant environmental benefits compared to a new build scheme. Our proposals are also fully aligned to Manchester City Council’s ambitious target to become a carbon neutral city by 2038.

Embodied carbon is caused by the extraction, manufacture/processing, transportation and assembly of each construction product and material in a building. As these carbon emissions are locked in as soon as the building is constructed, they can contribute up to 70 per cent of a building’s total lifetime carbon.


To demolish and rebuild the former Renaissance hotel, it is estimated that around 9,500 tonnes of CO2 would be emitted.  By retaining the existing structure, the amount of waste to landfill and production of new materials would be significantly minimised. 

 

This would enable 3,740 tonnes of CO2 to be saved - equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of around 462 homes in the UK. 


Operational carbon emissions will be reduced over time through the installation of energy-efficient technology and equipment, including new systems for building services, lighting and windows. 


The refurbishment is also targeting a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating, with a particular focus on transport, materials, waste, land use, and ecology.

 

This means:

  • The environmental impact of refurbishment materials will be reduced where possible.

  • Materials will be procured from a certified supply chain to promote economically, socially and environmentally responsible practices.

 

  • The amount of waste taken off site to landfill will be reduced.

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  • Ecology will be protected and enhanced.

 

FAQS

Has there been a public consultation?

The first consultation took place online from 29 March until 9 April 2021. This unveiled details of the overall masterplan for the site and emerging proposals for the hotel and office space. 

 

There will be another consultation in the summer providing further information on the proposed residential building.

When are you submitting a planning application?

We have submitted a planning application for the works to the hotel and we hope to submit a planning application for the first phase of the masterplan, including the emerging proposals for the residential and office space, in summer 2021.

When could construction start?

Subject to planning approval, we hope to start construction later this year which means the new hotel could be open by Q1 2023.

Why aren’t you demolishing the hotel?

It is not commercially viable to demolish the hotel and construct a new one – this has been the preeminent reason why developers have so far failed to bring forward a workable plan for the site.
Retaining and refurbishing the hotel will ensure the scheme can be brought forward without delay, and this approach is fully aligned to the brand identity of Treehouse Hotels. The proposals have been developed in line with its underlying ideologies and aim to open a Manchester location in Q1 2023.

Retaining the existing hotel structure will also generate significant environmental benefits, supporting the city council’s aim for Manchester to become carbon neutral by 2038. 

Who is the hotel operator?

 

T​reehouse Hotels has been secured as the hotel operator.

Manchester will be its second UK location as part of a global roll out.

Treehouse Hotels is a 4* brand and opened its first hotel in London in 2019, in acknowledgement of a market demand for hotels that are less corporate in their outlook and seek to preserve and enhance rather than replace. At the heart of Treehouse Hotels is the drive for a more sustainable environment. Underpinned by all the trappings expected of a modern hotel, their design ethos promotes sustainable development and seeks to create playful and stimulating destination hotels.

Why has Treehouse hotels chosen this location?

Following hugely positive feedback, the operator has been actively seeking a second UK destination. The existing Renaissance hotel has large rooms and detailing that make it very hard to adapt to the prototype hotel brands and is too large for most boutique hotels operators. The approach of Treehouse Hotels is anything but a formula driven standardised approach, with each hotel being a bespoke offering; designed to respond to the environment in which it sits, preserving and enhancing while providing playful yet relatable designs. As the UK’s second city due to its vibrant culture and diverse economy, Manchester and the Renaissance hotel site are seen as a great fit for the brand.

For more information on Treehouse Hotels see

https://www.treehousehotels.com & https://www.treehousehotels.com/about-us/press

 
 

THE TEAM

Property Alliance Group

Property Alliance Group is a Manchester-based property development and investment company, working across the industrial, commercial, retail, leisure and residential sectors.


In 2020, Property Alliance Group reached its 30th anniversary and has an extensive property portfolio. Its latest Manchester schemes have a total gross development value of circa £400m and the company also has assets in Leeds, Chester, Nottingham and Birmingham.


Alliance is a partner of the We love Mcr Charity and proud supporter of and The Teenage Cancer Trust and Ronald  McDonald House Charities Manchester. It also sponsored the landmark statue of Manchester icon Emmeline Pankhurst, which was unveiled in December 2018 in St Peter’s Square to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Britain.

Additional information can be found at propertyalliancegroup.com

 

Starwood Capital

Starwood Capital Group is a private investment firm with a core focus on global real estate, energy infrastructure and oil & gas. The Firm and its affiliates maintain 16 offices in seven countries around the world, and currently have approximately 4,000 employees.

Since its inception in 1991, Starwood Capital Group has raised over $55 billion of equity capital, and currently has in excess of $75 billion of assets under management. Through a series of comingled opportunity funds and Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (SREIT), a non-listed REIT, the Firm has invested in virtually every category of real estate on a global basis, opportunistically shifting asset classes, geographies and positions in the capital stack as it perceives risk/reward dynamics to be evolving.

Starwood Capital also manages Starwood Property Trust (NYSE: STWD), the largest commercial mortgage real estate investment trust in the United States, which has successfully deployed over $63 billion of capital since inception and manages a portfolio of over $17 billion across debt and equity investments.

 

Over the past 29 years, Starwood Capital Group and its affiliates have successfully executed an investment strategy that involves building enterprises in both the private and public markets.

 

Additional information can be found at starwoodcapital.com.

The Project Team

The proposals for the Renaissance site are being designed by Jon Matthews Architects.

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

Professional advisors
CBRE acted for Starwood Capital and Alliance on the acquisition of the Renaissance site.

JLL and Savills advised Urban & Civic on the sale.

Jon Matthews, Director at Jon Matthews Architects:

“Following the bomb of 1996, a comprehensive masterplan was produced to create an architecturally distinct core to Manchester. It is now 25 years later and the masterplan is almost complete – with the exception of the Renaissance site.

 

“Various plans have been approved for the site and all have failed when tested against commercial delivery. The site is difficult to develop with many constraints over and above those normally associated with a city centre site. The world has also moved on significantly in those 25 years and we now need to test development against sustainable principles and higher aspirations.

 

“In addition to adhering to the principles of architectural excellence, our brief for the site is to test each building against re-using the existing structures first to both reduce embodied carbon in construction and unlock the commercial delivery. Simply knocking everything down and starting again isn’t feasible sustainably and commercially.

 

“The new proposal delivers the fresh approach that is needed to deliver a viable scheme and ensure Manchester’s masterplan can finally be completed.”

 


Will Kennon, Executive Director for CBRE:


“The existing site has failed to be brought forward and enhanced over the last 25 years and in a post Covid era, it is becoming evident that successful development will require a combination of mixed uses.  The new proposals, comprising a high-quality hotel, conferencing facilities and newly refurbished office space, which has direct links into the hotel, deliver exactly that. 


“In the current climate, it is commendable that the partners are willing and able to commit a significant amount of speculative capital to the project, particularly when there are currently so many stalled hotel development schemes across the city, which have been unable to secure funding in this post Covid world.  This is only possible as a result of the joint venture’s plans to retain the existing hotel and spend c£20m on comprehensively refurbishing the existing structure into a building which will look as good – if not better – than a new build.”

Stephen Hogg, Head of North West and Residential UK Regions at JLL:


“The Renaissance hotel has had a number of owners and there has always been a debate about the architecture and whether to demolish and rebuild or retain and refurbish. One view is that the monolithic structure needs to go, another is that such an ‘iconic’ building needs to stay. 


“We were involved in a similar project in London - 180 The Strand.  The 1960’s building was earmarked for demolition but has been retained and refurbished. It is now one of the most sought after properties of a true-mixed nature, including Soho House’s new private members club, art gallery, prime residential and offices. It has huge appeal as it provides something different to a new glass and steel structure.


“The joint venture’s success in attracting a hotel brand will bring huge kudos to Manchester and life to this end of Deansgate.  The prominence of the site’s location being close to the prime retail of Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, No 1 Deansgate and Century Buildings, provides an opportunity to create an incredible lifestyle offer to fit in with the location.”

CONTACT

If you have any queries or questions about the transformation of the Renaissance site,

please contact: hello@renaissancedeansgate.co.uk

 

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ABOUT

Located on Deansgate and adjacent to Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Manchester Cathedral, the Renaissance site currently features a 206-bedroom hotel, car park and office building.

Plans are now underway to transform the plot and regenerate a key part of the city centre which has stood still for nearly three decades. 

The proposals are being brought forward by an affiliate of Starwood Capital, in a joint venture with Property Alliance Group – a partnership that combines vast development and hospitality experience.