Footballers-turned-hotel-operators Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs have moved a step closer to developing their proposed new "world class" mixed-use scheme in Manchester after the council was recommended to support the project.
St Michael's Manchester will include luxury flats, offices and shops as well as a five-star hotel. The site is located between Jackson's Row, Bootle Street and Southmill Street and will be the biggest venture yet for the duo, who opened the 133-bedroom Hotel Football in Old Trafford in March this year.
The players have teamed up with Brendan Flood to form the Jackson's Row Partnership and together with Manchester City Council have joined Singapore investment company Rowsley and Beijing Construction and Engineering Group (BCEG) to sign a multi-million-pound funding agreement.
Rowsley, which bought a 75% stake in Hotel Football for nearly £30m in August, will own a majority share in the investment.
Rowsley chief executive Lock Wai Han said: "Gary and his team exemplify the dynamism of the city and the city council, and it's a style of working we are very comfortable with in Singapore. St Michael's will become a landmark development and will meet the growing demand for quality accommodation and offices in Manchester."
He added: "This will be Rowsley's first investment in Europe and comes at a time when the UK government is encouraging businesses to move north to escape the rising cost of operating in London."
Neville commented: "Moving swiftly is key and huge credit goes to Rowsley and BCEG for their committed approach in the last two months. We are all truly excited at what can be achieved with this innovative and inspiring development."
A strategic regeneration framework for St Michaels is being finalised and a planning application for the scheme is expected to be submitted by January 2016. Construction is expected to start in the second half of 2016 and is scheduled for completion in three years' time.
In February, Giggs and Ryan were given the go-ahead to turn the Stock Exchange into a 35-bedroom boutique hotel and exclusive members' club.
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