Sister skyscraper for Beetham Tower to finally be built and replace eyesore car park in city centre

Sister skyscraper for Beetham Tower to finally be built and replace eyesore car park in city centre

The 42-storey Ian Simpson-designed landmark – which was originally unveiled three years ago – will sit on the edge of the Mancunian Way

Ian Simpson’s designs for a new 42-storey skyscraper on River Street

A sister skyscraper for Manchester’s iconic Beetham Tower is finally to be built – three years after plans were first unveiled.

Designs for a new 42-storey landmark, half a mile away from the Hilton, were originally revealed by its renowned architect Ian Simpson in 2012.

But the block never got built – and the land, at River Street on the edge of the Mancunian Way, has continued to house nothing but a derelict half-built multi-storey car park ever since.

Architect Ian Simpson

Now the land has been sold and new owners Forshaw are working with Mr Simpson to realise his vision.

Work is expected to start on site at around the end of November – with construction likely to last between a year

and 18 months.

Forshaw have also been given permission to demolish the concrete car park shell that stands there now – which had itself become a landmark and source of myriad complaints from nearby residents – and contractors are already on site starting work.

The site of the new skyscraper

At nearly the same height as the Beetham Tower, the new block will include 400 privately-rented apartments, fewer than the 600 originally planned three years ago.

Planners have agreed internal changes to the plans to allow for more two and three-bed flats, as well as a slight repositioning of the tower and some changes to the windows.

It is designed to be a major landmark at the southern gateway to the city, near to a number of key regeneration sites for the town hall.

The original proposal had first been unveiled more than three years ago when Mr Simpson – whose Beetham Tower has dominated the Manchester skyline for nearly a decade – described his design as ‘dramatic’ and a ‘simple, very elegant building with a glass surface’.

It had been designed, he said, to complement his original Hilton tower block, just a ten-minute walk away.

At the time developers Chelmer had been planning the new tower as a form of apart-hotel for short-term rental.

But that development never got off the ground and Forshaw have revived it as a more conventional private rental project, as part of council ambitions for thousands of new flats to accommodate the city’s booming population.

Mr Simpson is still working closely with the new developers to see his designs finally brought to fruition.

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