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Manchester Weighs Up A Boutique Hotel For Its Famous Corn Exchange

June 10, 2014 at 8:37 AM | by | ()

It's one of the most recognisable buildings in England's second city, and now it might become a hotel: Manchester's historical Corn Exchange is up for redevelopment.

The vast, triangular-shaped building in Northern England is a Grade II listed property dating back to 1897 (though its predecessor, the Corn and Produce Exchange was the place for farmers and merchants to flip their goods as early as 1837). Having suffered bomb damage in World War II, and then again in 1996, by the IRA, the building had some constructive surgery and a name change in 2000 to “The Triangle,” essentially a retail arcade. In 2012, the building took back its original name, followed by a proposal to expand its dining facilities.

Now its owners, Aviva Investors, are planning a £30m ($50m) redevelopment project for the Exchange - which is set to include an 86-room hotel. according to the Manchester Evening News. The complex will also include up to 13 restaurants - now there’s an amenity.

The hotel concept is still in the early planning stages and since it's a listed building, interested parties will have to jump through some hoops to get the required approvals. All hoops aside, it is an interesting building - architecturally as well as historically - and, with a little design savvy, could be made into a really cool hotel.

It’s easy to see from the aerial photograph just how large this building is. It has elegant Edwardian detailing, grand entrances, and super-sized interior public spaces which should transform nicely into the hotel's social hubs, dining areas, and uniquely spacious guest rooms.

It won't be Manchester's only historic hotel, of course - the Radisson Blu Edwardian, after all, is located in the Free Trade Hall, an iconic building that was the site of first the Peterloo Massacre and, in more recent, happier times, Manchester's finest concert hall, where many famous Mancunian musicians cut their teeth.

But with a shortage of top notch hotels in the city, it'll be a welcome addition.

The plan is to open the hotel next year, so operators had better get on it. Personally, if we're going with chains, we think an Andaz would sit pretty much perfectly in the city. Starwood, take note.

[Photos/Renderings: Manchester Evening News]

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