St Michael's tower, Relentless and Salboy, p planning documents

Proposals are being brought forward by a joint venture between Relentless and Salboy. Credit: via planning documents

St Michael’s skyscraper in Manchester could get even taller

Gary Neville’s development company Relentless is working with Salboy to refresh their vision for the landmark city centre building, with proposals to take the property’s height from 41 to 43 storeys.

Last year, the two developers formed a 50/50 joint venture to deliver St Michael’s tower on land bounded by Jacksons Row, Bootle Street, Southmill Street, and 201 Deansgate.

Designed by Hodder + Partners, the scheme will feature five storeys of office accommodation and a five-star hotel spanning 10 floors that will be operated under the Marriott Group’s luxury W Hotel brand.

The Relentless and Salboy JV has lodged fresh plans to add another two storeys, taking the building’s height to 43 storeys. This increase will allow another 16 apartments to be built to create a total of 229 flats.

Approval would also see a small decrease in the office floorspace from 324,000 sq ft to 316,900 sq ft, as well as a small increase in spa floorspace from 197,000 sq ft to 200,000 sq ft.

The refreshed plans come while the project is already under construction, with contractor DOMIS starting work in April.

The hotel and residential tower makes up the second phase of the wider St Michael’s project.

The first phase will deliver offices and a rooftop restaurant. Main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland began work on the first phase last year, with construction expected to complete in 2024.

Zerum is the planning consultant for the scheme. Also on the project team are Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture, WSP, Novo, Planit-IE, GTech, and ArcAero.

To learn more about the refreshed skyscraper plans, search for application number 137873/JO/2023 on Manchester City Council’s planning portal.

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It’s outrageous how easy it is to sneak changes through on a development mid-build. You have all the consultations and planning meetings which are well publicised, but then developers are constantly allowed to sneak through changes while nobody is looking (usually watering quality down and shoving profit up).

By Anonymous

Un – be – lievableeeeeeeeeeee

By Cyril

Gary Neville’s quest for extra floors is Relentless

By Anonymous

Presumably they’ve achieved their desired profit level from the original 41-storey scheme, so once the build costs of the two new floors are accounted for the rest would presumably be a developer contribution…?

By Anonymous

@Anonymous, I am curious why a couple of extra floors seems “outrageous” to you. This building, like every other one built, is a business proposition. Business needs & economic conditions change over time. It’s quite normal for businesses to tweak their propositions between the original plans and build begins to meet the current market needs.
There is nothing sneaky here at all. If they request an extra couple of floors, then they are following the legal and public facing process correctly. The council can approve or reject the changes, again, publicly and openly.
Sneaking is doing something behind everyone’s back… e.g. just building an extra couple of floors against regulations or agreements. That is clearly not what is happening here.
It’s one thing to blurt on a public forum that someone is doing something wrong whilst hiding behind anonymity, it’s another thing thinking about what has actually happened.

By Jo

they should add even more, I think it’s a beautiful looking tower and it will look great when it’s taller

By Michael

Well let’s see if this application is taken under delegation for the Director of Planning to opine on or if it is taken to Planning Committee. If the latter that will open up a lot of debate in the city. For the record – I am a huge supporter of tall buildings in the city but St Michaels is not the location for one such tower. For once I supported Historic England’s objections.

By Anonymous

Most development is good for Manchester (This included). Maybe once these latest applications have gone through, they should promote development in North Manchester or South Manchester

By North Manchester

It is a great looking proposal and glad the rest of St Michaels is well underway. Looks like it may be ready when the civic quarter reopens fully again.

By Anonymous

Two floors hardly make a difference on a tower already this height. Get it finished and quieten the moaners.

By Tom

The taller the better. Love the juxtaposition of new and old and the public realm and spaces improve as a result.

By Christopher

Doesn’t seem too unreasonable. Especially when it’s one of the rarer high-quality schemes going up.

By Tom

In times of high inflation and some developers falling into administration then if a couple of extra floors makes a project more viable removing potential risks further down the line then it seems reasonable to me.

By Tomo

Another greenhouse with zero architectural value. While it covers the view of our wonderful town hall. Shame in you.

By A manchester resident

Closet Tory building. Such a shame for the city. Money first architecture last. When will these people consider the real manchester people. So sad. Relentless is a very appropriate name. You have definitely forgotten your roots

By A manchester resident

I don’t really understand the moaning???? This is not that big of a deal and infact is a good thing. I agree with the rest, the higher the more beautiful this art piece of a building will turn out. Just waiting on construction now.

By Anonymous

Real shame, in such a important square in the historic civic quarter encroached and invaded by this overbearing tower bland in the internationalist style. Just isn’t what people want to see when admiring the stunning and increasing rare Gothic revival and industrial buildings of Manchester. Hope Mr Neville is pleased with himself.

By Anonymous

Replying to the previous comment – Please do wake up and try to understand that we are in the year 2023. This building will do wonders for the city and bring in many more opportunities + The building isn’t destroying much of its surroundings…

By Anonymous

My only objection is why do they keep building boring buildings. Look at the Shard. The Gherkin. The Walkie Talkie. That’s just the UK. Do something different Manchester

By X

Get it built asap! Looking forward to having a W in the city 🙂

By Dave

Some absolute nonsense being talked here, you shouldn’t see a tower when admiring Gothic architecture? You are in the middle of the city centre and it’s not the size of New York. If they don’t like it they are going to have to walk around with with virtual reality goggles. This development looks great..move on, the city has.

By Doh

I don’t think two extra stories on what promises to be a good quality building is anything to get hysterical about, the only concern is what sort of precedent does it set. What’s stopping them or any other developer coming back repeatedly to increase height.

Anyway this is far less offensive than that looming bright red co-living tower they’re proposing to dump in Greengate, as reported earlier this week.

By Anonymous

Can manchester resident please explain how this blocks views of the Town Hall…….it doesn’t
Perhaps you should pop into your city centre d take a look if you don’t believe me

By Befuddled

Nice tower, wrong location.

By Anonymous

When they finish this in the next couple of years can they buy the nearby old Theatre Royal and do something interesting with that too. So many years rotting away..,needs vision and money.

By Chademo

Cadhemo, the Theatre Royal is owned by Radisson, they are going to turn it into a banqueting hall


The irrevocable and irreversible damage to the ever shrinking heritage of the city, they could of been more creative and imaginative and re-purposed the old police headquarters, looking at that image its clear why Historic England was unwilling to support the proposals. There is a place for bland tall edifices that’s on car parks and derelict strips of land away from the dense historic core of the city. This would not of been permitted in any serious European city.

By Alternative for Manchester

Two extra storeys is probably enough here, because it will sit alone, as there is no room for a cluster here. I agree with X though, Manchester needs something more striking now. Deansgate Square needs something spectacular in the middle of it.

By Elephant

Woo 2 more storeys is good news. However, for a prime city centre site like this it should have been at least 60 storeys tall

By Giant Skyscraper Fan

Stop crying. It looks creative and much better than most of the other Manchester towers. This is a step forward into the right direction, we need a few of these kind of towers that are commercial based and not just residential. This brings money into the Manchester economy and draws tourism too. The only way we will get really modern designs like the London skyscrapers is if we get towers that are offices. We’re essentially the 2nd city of England, the whole world knows of Manchester City, we need to be developed and have a big city feel to it. If you object, go move to Lancaster you won’t complain over there.

By Saeed

Alternative for Manchester, this would be welcome in any serious European city, not that there are many, Europe is declining as North America, Asia and Australia are shaping the future, Europe’s conservatism is responsible,

By Cal

Sorry Alternative, try visiting now and again or paying attention and you’ll see why in the end they did support it as the entire development is worth supporting making use of the facade of the old police station and bringing to life a completely dead corner. And by the way the reason Manchester is a ‘serious city’ indeed one of Europe’s fastest growing is precisely because of such development and lots of ir. Heritage is definitely worth preserving but dogma leads to much keyboard chewing and a frustration that the world is never as we wish it. You don’t have to look far examples of dogma driven anti development and all of the frustration that leads to.

By Anonymous

Some hilarious comments there from the haters! Of course changes will be subject to planning approval, nobody just ‘sneaks in changes’!! It’s a great looking building.

By BuildaBear

Whats important is the change in height of the building. If the office element is coming down, its likely they have removed a floor there and added two resi floors, which will have a much reduce floor to ceiling heght that the office. In reality the change in height is probably mimimal.


Having just checked it’s 6.68m increase in height, which is the two resi floors. Not much of an increase in reality on what is a quality design.


I agree with Chademo …the tower is going ahead anyway. The old Theatre Royal gas lain waste fir far too long – the Radisson Hotel who own it I think should be made to sell it or develop it immediately. This would make a lovely theatre again !

By Rodders

So very sad that a minority of people seem to want a very simple boring glass tower in the middle of beautiful architecture. People who dp not want this aren’t haters. They are the true manchester people that are being driven out of the city by greedy developers.

By A manchester resident

There’s more than a tinge of irony in the number of people complaining about the overbearing design spoiling the view of a building which was (on its conception and construction) itself deemed an overbearing design spoiling the then view.

This is a new landmark building that will instantly become a major benefit to the local area. It will have next to no impact on the Town hall, we will all soon have a new square to stand in and revel in the town hall when the scaffolding finally comes down.

By Anonymous

Can someone please provide any evidence that the building of tall towers makes a city more desirable for people to visit or live in?.

By John Murtough

@Manchetser resident – no one lived in the city centre before developers started developing it, so where exactly are you being driven from? Get this built. Great design, more jobs, potential big name hotel. Onwards and upwards for all of us who want it. Hats off to all those involved.

By Bob

@JohnMurtough. As ypu know, there is none because it isn ‘t true, unless the size relates to a fully let commercial building that brings the benefit of the jobs it provided RE. The bigger it is, the more jobs or hotel rooms for visitors on a small footprint. Nobody is going to visit a city just because it has some boring and poor quality tall buildings.

This one is onviously resi and a hotel, with the smaller first phase commercial. This is sensible from the developers and better for the city.
There are a lot of people on here seemingly obsessed though with size and the bigger the better, no matter how poorly designed, or how bad the effect will be on the city. They seem to be of the Trump school of arguing as in if you don’t agree entirely, you know nothing and are therefore entirely at odds with what they believe they ‘know’ to be ‘facts’. Rather than present a factual argument, they will prerend they know better and provide some sort of condescending comment to anybody else’s opinion. Unfortunately, my truth tells me that the beautiful Victorian/Edwardian industrial metropolis that Manchester is/was, is being lost/eroded, and it is not for the sake of progress, just greed and lack of care. Progress and keeping a city’s character can be mutual things if done correctly, and that is nothing to do with the size or height of a building, it is about the quality of design and intended use.

Being tall to superficially show off to people from Birmingham, Leeds or Liverpool is not good enough. A city has to be a nice place to be as well. Manchester is on the cusp of going from a beautiful Victorian uilt/planned city, with quality new developments (there are some) giving it the progress it needs, into an ugly, spoiled city, lacking in character other than bland boxes pointing to the sky whose only saving grace is that they are tall. Many of these poor quality buildings being let through with the addage of ‘people are building so we must be thriving and as a council/city, doing an amazing job’ is bizarre.

Having said all of that, this is defo one of the better towers going up, both aesthetically, and at ground level. And surely where it is, will mean anybody seeing it from Albert sq will have their back to the town hall, or at least have one or the other in their periferal vision, therefore not impeeding the view of the town hall. I think this will actially improve the view of the opposite side, which is honestly not the best as it stands. Two more floors will make no difference if it is going up anyway, but does show a cynical lack of regard for the city’s decisions from Gary Neville and his partners. It is not the floors themselves that are the issue, but the manner in which he is trying to achieve it. If it where a Dubai, a London, or even a Liverpool developer doing this, I would understand, but for somebody who professes such a love of the city, it is poor and maybe shows his true colours.

By Anonymous

Yeah, common sense and the fact that every growing city has towers, offices, jobs, infrastructure. There’s always a line to be drawn but you want a bungalow go live in a village.

By Anonymous

St Michaels is a quality development Where once was an old police station. Don’t like it? Too bad, it’s well underway and a great addition to the city centre.

By Alf

A lot of panic over two additional floors ! My word! A city is far more than a few talls here and there. It’s the sum of all its districts and everything it provides. Manchester is now big enough to be interesting, liveable and accommodate the new as well as the old.

By Anonymous

@August 31, 2023 at 6:44 pm
By Anonymous

I agree with every word of this. Absolutely well put and argued.

I’d like to add that Toulouse in France is thriving, with its mixed economy and good council management.
The quality of its urban realm projects and landscaping, along with its stewardship of its fine buildings set an example to most peers back in the UK.

And Toulouse has not felt the urge to pockmark its skyline with cheap, energy-guzzling towers.


Ok so if we are going to use facts here for a change as anonymous 6.44 claims to do in his rant here are two critical ones. Firstly, there is very little land left to build on in Manchester. Secondly if real Mancunians are going to get a fair shot at life, they need to live in a wealthy and prosperous area, not the dump that Manchester was 25 years ago. So we need growth. So we either build high. Or we knock down long established communities in inner city areas to increase density there. I know which I prefer.

By Fact check

Funnily enough all of the tall buildings in Manchester apart from this one are in the right area. The proof of this is that when you walk around our historic areas you are very rarely aware of the number of tall buildings that there are. How many Victorian buildings in Manchester have been restored and repurposed? The vast majority. Yes you need a balance but people are voting with their feet. 30 years ago nobody wanted to live, work or visit here. Well they do now and in vast and growing numbers so somebody must be doing something right somewhere surely. And I’d love someone to show me where any towers are being in a European city that are better than renekars. Take a proper good look at them at different times of the day. They are far from being glass boxes and virtually every European regional city would love to have them. But no it’s just more cheap glass boxes of course

By Blimey

Sorry Anonymous 6.44 less ranting more reading. Manchester like most UK cities suffered enormously after the war through lack of investment and inappropriate planning. The whole idea of the aesthetic city is a good thing. Attractive design in a way that people feel good about their surroundings on a human scale is not something that architects are taught anymore and that’s a pity, the old buildings are the ones we love. But that’s not to say that properly zoned tall buildings don’t have a place too . Of course this one was controversial because of its proximity to the civic quarter but towers themselves are not the issue for me , quality of overall design and execution is. From drawings I’ve seen this one is actually quite good.

By Anonymous

As I said this before… I like the tower design but think it is inappropriate in this location. IMHO it should be shorter and not taller. A taller version of this elsewhere (in a cluster) would be fine.

By Chris

Annonymous 10.27 and Fact check – Your replies to annonymous 6.44 are Ironic, trolling wind ups aren’t they? Surely they must be? Not quite sure how that post could be labelled as ranting. It seems, from my reading, quite balanced, and to be saying St Mchaels is actually one of the better developments, and that 2 more floors will make no difference, and will have no effect on the town hall. In fact, it seems to say it will improve the view of the opposite side of the square? I think it does. I like the juxtaposition between the memorial and the tower in the image above. Can’t read any problem with tall buildings in the post either, just poor quality ones. Am I reading a different post? Maybe I also need to read more. Anyway, good mixed use development.

By Anonymous

The argument that we need tall buildings because land is in short supply is a complete fallacy .What we really need is the amalgamation of all towns and city in Greater Manchester into one city like London and stop.trying to stuff everything of value into one small area.We have a Greater Manchester mayor but persist in not not viewing Greater Manchester as the whole city.

By Vera Smith

Come on Vera Smith do keep up. A plan has just been prepared for GM and the single biggest issue by far was the need to protect the green and othe districts refused to yield. Therefore it clearly isn’t a fallacy……we do have a shortage of land and have to increase density.

By Read the facts

Nobody would have noticed if they just built an extra two floors anyway. Great development that will be fantastic for the city. If it improves the viability, just approve it and get it built.

By Burt

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