Bowmer & Kirkland has signed a contract to build a £50m office development on the troubled site of a former cinema in Manchester.
The contractor will demolish the existing Odeon on Oxford Street in the city centre and replace it with a 14-storey building.
The new development, which will sit adjacent to office block One St Peter’s Square, will provide 178,800 sq ft of office space. Designs are targeting a BREAAM Excellent rating.
Construction News understands demolition of the interior has started on site, with a major asbestos removal project already under way.
The building was opened as the Paramount Cinema and Theatre in 1930, and was the first cinema in the UK to bear the Paramount name, before being renamed as the Odeon in 1940.
Manchester & Metropolitan received planning permission for a redevelopment back in 2007.
This was extended in 2010 and developer Hines formed a JV with M&M to deliver the scheme, but it failed to secure a pre-let agreement and the project never went ahead.
Castlebrooke purchased the site from the joint venture in March 2016, and received planning permission for the demolition of the building in November.
A contract was signed with Bowmer & Kirkland last month.
Bowmer & Kirkland and Castlebrooke have been contacted for comment.
Bowmer and Kirkland_Landmark former Odeon cinema Manchester 1
The project is one of a number of major schemes the contractor is undertaking in the city.
In December, the firm won a £23m deal to deliver a mixed refurbishment and new-build scheme for client Hotel Indigo.
B&K bagged a £20m job to build a health and wellbeing centre on the site of the former Altrincham Hospital earlier this year, and is also on site at a modular hotel development in Trafford Park for client Holiday Inn Express.