River Street Tower

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River Street Tower
River Street Tower CGI render.jpg
A CGI render of the River Street Tower
General information
Status Planning approved, but never built
Type Residential
Architectural style Neomodern
Location Manchester, England
Roof 125 m (410 ft)[1]
Technical details
Floor count 42
Design and construction
Architect SimpsonHaugh and Partners
Developer Forshaw Land & Property

River Street Tower was an approved skyscraper scheme in Manchester, England. The building was originally proposed in June 2012 and approved in October 2012. The land was sold to new owners and a revised application was made and approved in 2015. The building was to have been situated next to the Mancunian Way on land which as of May 2017 was still undeveloped, and occupied by a concrete car park frame. The concrete structure was first built in 2005 but was abandoned after the original developer went into liquidation.

At 125 metres (410 ft) high, upon its completion River Street Tower would have been the second tallest building in Manchester and the third tallest building in the United Kingdom outside London, after the 169-metre (554 ft) Beetham Tower, which is also in Manchester and the 140-metre (460 ft) West Tower in Liverpool.[2]


Chelmer Developments bought the site in April 2011 and pursued development opportunities. Liaising with Manchester City Council, the company commissioned SimpsonHaugh and Partners to devise design proposals for a skyscraper building above 100 metres in height. The company held a four-week consultation period in spring 2012.[3] The planning application was submitted in July 2012 and Manchester City Council approved the plans in October 2012.[4] Approval was confirmed on 25 October 2012 at the quarterly planning committee meeting.[5]

Demolition of the existing concrete structure was expected to begin in earnest, though works did not commence.[6]

The land was subsequently sold to new owners, Bolton-based development firm Forshaw Land & Property and a revised planning application was made and approved by Manchester City Council in 2015 for 420 privately rented apartments, fewer than the 600 originally planned in the 2012 scheme. Construction of the skyscraper was expected to take approximately 18 months with the demolition of the concrete car park shell to commence in November 2015.[7] However, by May 2017 construction had yet to begin, and the car park structure had not been demolished.[8]

The scheme was effectively abandoned when new owners of the site proposed a different and smaller building in December 2017.[9]


The development was located on a site on River Street, beside Manchester city centre's southern boundary next to the Mancunian Way. The site is currently occupied by a half-built concrete frame, originally built for a medium-rise apartment block constructed in 2004.[10] The developer went bankrupt and the concrete frame has since remained uncompleted.[4] The 2012 approved scheme included 600 serviced apartments designed for short-stay 'serviced living' as well as a café and gym.[11] The 2015 approved scheme included 420 privately rented apartments alongside food, drink and leisure units.[12]

The tower would have been similar to modernist buildings like the New Century House and will reflect light to create effect. The architect, Ian Simpson described the building as "a simple, very elegant and slender building with a glass surface so it will pick up reflections from the light and I think it will be quite dramatic."[2] The tower shares some characteristics with the simple neomodern style comparable to the Bay Adelaide Centre.


  1. ^ a b "River Street Tower". skyscrapernews. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  2. ^ a b Linton, Deborah (18 July 2012). "Revealed: Plans for new skyscraper in Manchester by Beetham Tower architect Ian Simpson". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  3. ^ "Chelmer tower plans on show". Place North West. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Report for Resolution - River Street Tower" (PDF). Manchester City Council. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  5. ^ "Manchester's River Street tower gets planning approval". BBC News. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  6. ^ "Mancunian Way Tower Wins Approval". skyscrapernews.com. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  7. ^ "Sister skyscraper for Beetham Tower to finally be built and replace eyesore car park in city centre". Manchester Evening News. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 
  8. ^ http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/weird-history-derelict-car-park-13031538
  9. ^ Middleton-Pugh, Jessica (16 January 2018). "Downing moves fast with plans for 32-storey River Street tower". North West Place. Retrieved 2 March 2018. 
  10. ^ "Second Tallest Planned For Manchester". skyscrapernews.com. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  11. ^ "Our Proposals". Chelmer Developments. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  12. ^ "REVEALED Four Major Manchester Developments Move Forward". Manchester Confidential. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-30. 

External links

  • - Developer's website for the scheme
  • - Planning application documents

Coordinates: 53°28′15″N 2°14′57″W / 53.470824°N 2.249284°W / 53.470824; -2.249284

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