So rapidly in fact, that the 165,000 sq ft 10-storey 101 Embankment will complete in July this year.
Another office building, named 100 Embankment, based right next to 101 and standing at pretty much the same height, will follow, providing scope for around 330,000 sq ft across the scheme.
The whole scheme, within one of the city’s newest quarters, is being built on the historic Exchange Station which has been at the heart of things for around 1,000 years.
Just minutes from the recently revamped Victoria Station, Embankment stands in the shadow of Manchester Cathedral and is being billed as the place ‘Where Everything Comes Together’.
Given the business and retail destination scheme’s surroundings – it’s hard to argue against the slogan.
Embankment will undeniably contribute to ‘place-making’ and represents thoughtful use of public space. An £8m public realm project, which runs from Deansgate adjoining Harvey Nichols across the River Irwell, has already been completed.
A 442-space three-floor car park will lie underneath the two Embankment office buildings currently under construction, and be operational when 101 is finished.
Also important to mention is the restoration work done to the iconic red brick arches - visible to people who walk by every day - to their original condition. When complete, those passers-by as well as workers based within the Embankment office buildings, will be just a couple of minutes from the Corn Exchange and its 13 restaurants.
Also a little more than a stone’s throw is Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, the Arndale Centre, Harvey Nicholls and the National Football Museum. A gym and Odeon cinema in the Printworks, Manchester Arena, the biggest indoor entertainment venue in Europe, and hotels, including the Renaissance and a Premier Inn, are also on the doorstep.
The jewel in the crown for this scheme and those who will live and breathe it though, is the Second City Metrolink crossing. The closest Metrolink stop to Embankment is Exchange Square and is now open. The Metrolink line’s proximity to Embankment is set to open up this quarter of Manchester city centre, not just to other areas within the city, but to southern suburbs like Chorlton and Didsbury.
It will be almost as easy to access the quarter from the south as it already is from the north.
As it stands Ask Real Estate Limited and its joint venture partners, Carillion and Tristan Capital Partners, are on schedule to deliver the first phase of Embankment by July.
The partners are currently fielding enquiries from a number of potential occupiers for both 100 and 101.
With the Ordsall Chord also due for completion in December 2016 - set to make Victoria station an even more important hub due to linking it to Manchester Piccadilly and opening up a new direct service to Manchester Airport - businesses moving into Embankment will have access to faster more frequent trains to Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Hull and other places in the north of England.
To summarise, ‘place-making’ can empower and galvanise local communities to create a sense of ‘belonging’. Due to Embankment’s unique location on the Manchester side of the River Irwell, the scheme and the area it will exist in will make life for so many, flow.
What the name of the living quarter will be remains to be seen.