Manchester set for office building boom

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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Office building work in Manchester is set to fire up again as developers dust down planned schemes.

In the City’s Spinningfields business district developer Allied London is reported to be close to striking a deal to go-head with a 350,000 sq ft iconic office tower.

While in the city centre, Bam Construct looks set to be named winning contractor for the £60m One St Peter’s Square office job, ahead of rivals Kier and Carillion.

Close to this building, AXA Real Estate has just received planning consent to demolish the 1960s Peterloo House to make way for a new 12-storey office block.

The projects are clear markers that the commercial office pipeline is starting to pick up again after construction of the Co-op’s headquarters building led the city’s office building recovery.

Mike Mitchell, an investment director at DTZ, said the deals could indicate a trend on the part of investors to focus on the regions away from prime markets in the West End and City of London.


How 1 Hardman Square could look

Frankfurt-based fund manager Union Investment Group is reported to be in advanced talks with Allied London to forward-purchase 1 Hardman Square for around £165m without a pre-let.

The deal to start up the site would be the first speculative office development in the north-west since before the downturn – a beacon of faith in the long-term growth prospects of the region.

According to the Spinningfields masterplan, The Foster and Partners-designed block is set to be built on the site of Quay House, but very few details are public.


One St Peter’s Square scheme

More immediately, Bam has emerged as the front runner to win the £60m redevelopment of Elisabeth House in Manchester’s St Peter’s Square.

Manchester-based developer Argent and JV partner, the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund, will redevelop the 14-storey One St Peter’s Square into a 273,000 sq ft landmark office building offering cultural space for public exhibitions at ground floor level.

The building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating and will incorporate office floorplates of up to 22,500 sq ft.

Proposed Peterloo House offices

The nearby 1960s Peterloo House office block could also soon be demolished to be replaced by 12-storey offices.

AXA Real Estate has received planning consent to demolish the old Peterloo House to make way for the £50m, 108,000 sq ft scheme office development on Dickinson Street.

Construction is expected to commence after 50 per cent of the building has been pre-let.

WHR Property Consultants and CBRE have been appointed as agents on the new building.

Dorrien Thomas, UK head of asset management at AXA Real estate, said: “Receipt of planning consent at St Peter’s Square means that we can now push ahead in earnest with marketing this new well-located Grade A office space in the middle of Manchester’s central business district.”

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