Hotel, motel… Yotel? YO! Sushi submit plans for 258-room Yotel in heart of Manchester’s Piccadilly

Exclusive by Judith Hawkins

Sleep and sushi may not be two things you immediately think of as going hand in hand.

But the company behind YO! Sushi have submitted plans to build a 258-room hotel in the heart of Piccadilly – in what could become the first ‘Yotel’ in the North.

The YO! Company have such self-styled ‘Yotels’ in New York and at Heathrow, Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol airports, but are now turning their attention to Manchester with an application to build a 20-storey version complete with ground floor bar and lobby.

If the plans are approved the Manchester Yotel will be built between 12-16 Piccadilly, and will be one of the first buildings people see when they enter the city from Piccadilly Station.  

The application submitted to Manchester City Council on October 1 states: “The site’s location is fundamental to Yotel’s decision to locate their first non-airport UK hotel in Manchester.

“The proposed hotel scheme will greatly enhance the skyline and create the right first impression for visitors arriving to Manchester from Piccadilly Station and walking into the city centre.”

The building has been designed by Manchester Architects Stephenson: ISA Studio, and will be constructed from bronze and white coloured concrete.

Along with these plans submitted by Trafford-based Property Alliance Group, an application for consent to convert a listed building has been put forward as the proposed site at 12 Piccadilly currently houses the Grade II listed former Union Bank. 

The four-storey Portland stone Bank was built in 1911 and has been empty since Barclays Bank vacated the site in 2006. Its conversion will involve removing the stairwell, interior partitions and the south wall in order to link it to the Yotel.

The planning application proposes to bring the Union Bank back into active use, stating that: “The Listed Building, whilst clearly possessing significant architectural and historic merit as a whole, lies vacant.

“This means it does not provide the positive contribution it should as a focal point in the street scene, nor does it generate the activity levels that would truly allow its value to the City to be appreciated and enjoyed.”

English Heritage have already been contacted prior to the application, with a draft scheme presented to Historic Areas Advisor and Buildings Inspector Julian Holder in August.

Following this the designers have adopted English Heritage’s request that the stained glass windows currently decorating the stairwell planned for demolition be retained and used within the ground floor lounge bar as a feature.

In addition English Heritage expressed concern at the height of the Yotel, but existing planning consent on the site has already established a precedent for a tall building.

The plans state that the height of the Yotel will correspond with 111 Piccadilly on the opposite side of the road ‘to create a gateway to the city’.

The site is also located adjacent to the Stevenson Square Conservation Area, designated as such by the City Council in 1987 because of the number of Victorian buildings listed as being of special architectural or historical interest.

According to the plans each of the main phases in the development of the Yotel’s design have been tabled for discussion with the City during the past year, and more detailed talks held with David Roscoe, the Council’s City Centre Development Manager.

Yotel was first formed in 2002 when YO! founder Simon Woodroffe OBE and Yotel CEO Gerard Greene came up with the idea of a hotel consisting of luxurious cabins, inspired by both first class airline travel and Japanese capsule hotels.

As well as this planned build in Manchester the Yotel group are looking to open more hotels in Europe and the USA, along with further airport versions at Paris Charles de Gaulle, Madrid and Frankfurt. 

Image courtesy of The YO! Company via YouTube, with thanks.

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