A luxury £27m four-star hotel backed by former Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo has been given the go ahead by city planners.
The 151-room hotel near Piccadilly Gardens is a joint venture between the footballer and Portuguese hoteliers Pestana, and will be part of the CR7 brand when it opens in 2023.
A ground floor bar, cafe, basement gym and roof terrace are proposed over 11 floors, while the area outside the hotel will also be improved with widened pavements and new trees.
It will take the place of the unsafe and unsightly 67 Piccadilly, which will be demolished having been covered by scaffolding and advertising hoardings for almost 20 years.
The vacant upper floors of the neighbouring Halls Building at 69-75 Piccadilly, which houses the Piccadilly Tavern, will also be extended to accommodate part of the hotel.
A meeting of Manchester council’s planning committee heard on Thursday that the site was not realising its potential as a gateway to the Northern Quarter and wider city centre.
Katie Wray, of planning consultants Deloitte, said: “The development will deliver a 151-bed four-star luxury hotel and will respond to the demand for additional hotel rooms within the city to support its long-term growth trajectory.
“The delivery of a new hotel supported by the CR7 brand is a testament to the site’s attractiveness and is an important opportunity to further diversify Manchester’s vibrant hospitality and tourism offer.”
A total of 228 full-time jobs will be created during construction and a further 187 full-time posts once the hotel opens.
Guests are expected to spend almost £5.5m in the local economy every year, according to a report, while also generating business rates with £3.9m in the first 10 years of operation.
The Victorian Society had taken issue with the changes to the Grade II listed 69-75 building which backs onto Back Piccadilly, though the group did not object to the scheme.
But Piccadilly councillor Jon-Connor Lyons hailed the development as an ‘incredibly exciting’ opportunity to breathe new life into the area.
He said: “It considers and celebrates our industrial heritage in the city, it doesn’t work against it but celebrates and restores it.
“The corner of [67 Piccadilly] has for so many years been a major concern because it is supported by that scaffolding and with further neglect it could have collapsed.”
Several councillors who raised concerns about the roof terrace were told that it would only be used for organised events, and that there would be no amplified music played outside.
Construction of the hotel, which will become the seventh Pestana branded hotel in the world but the first CR7 hotel outside of Portugal, will start next year.