Designed by 5plus Architects, work on the £40m Axis Tower will be constructed at a city centre site near Deansgate and Manchester Oxford Road stations.
The 172 flats tower will be clad in bronzed aluminium panels and a glass façade system incorporating a 30m media screen.
Work on the 153,000 sq ft residential building begins almost a decade after plans for a tower on the Deansgate Locks plot were first approved.
The build programme involves Russells partially removing existing foundations that were installed for the prior scheme, putting in new foundations and creating the basement floor of the new building before commencing the upward build.
During construction, a temporary platform will be built across the Rochdale Canal to Whitworth Street, which will provide access for deliveries.
Gareth Russell, of Russells Construction, said: “Building a 28-storey tower on a small site on a canal bank in the middle of the city is no mean feat, but we have developed a wealth of experience of this type of constrained high rise build with several recent city centre hotel schemes, and have put together an expert team to devise and implement the solutions necessary to deliver Axis. There has been a lot of complicated planning and design to get this stage, so it’s great to get started.”