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There are so many indicators of the success of

Manchester as a powerful regional city economy

that it is hard to choose the most important.

One milestone is that the Allied London

Spinningfields development is nearing completion.

It has really set the agenda in the city for the past

decade and more since Allied boss Michael Ingall’s

first proposal in 1997.

Allied has now released two floors on N0 1,

Spinningfields on the 15th and 16th floors. Such

large scale schemes are necessary for the success of

the Northern Powerhouse, a concept that looms so

large in the economic future of the North of England.

The fact that £3.4 billion has been committed to

Northern Powerhouse projects should go some way

to assuaging the critics of the project. In fact Brexit

could help the Northern Powerhouse by increasing

the UK’s redistribution of power away from London.

Manchester (and Leeds) is equipping itself for the

challenge of the concept with new developments,

such as the development by Ask and the Richardson

family in a joint venture with Patrizia for a 59,675 sq

metres (750,000 sq ft) office scheme in First Street.

This takes Ask back to the 20-acre site which it pre-

viously sold to Patrizia, which continues to own and

manage the retail and leisure space at First Street.

The office development will be in four phases.

Another major scheme is the £175 million

mixed-use development of the former Boddington’s

Brewery by Prosperity Capital Partners to be named

Old Brewery Gardens. Indeed, it will have a large

central garden that features an open air cinema.

At the nearby NOMA scheme, MEPC has been

appointed by Hermes as development manager for

the 20-acre project. Hermes’ Chris Taylor said:

“Appointing MEPC is in line with our long-term

strategy for the development to create a leading

commercial hub in the heart of Manchester.”


Commercial Property Register

March - June 2018




Harry Skinner says ‘In November last year WHR Property Consultants

were acquired by Avison Young, a Canadian based commercial real

estate services firm with over 2,600 professionals across the US,

Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Following the takeover we have relocated into a bigger office at St James Square and now have 38

full-time staff including a new Valuation team enabling us to provide a full service offering to clients.

Avison Young has 81 offices worldwide and we are now working with colleagues in both London and

the Midlands which has increased our market reach and contact base across the UK. The office market in

Manchester has remained buoyant over the last year with several keynote deals edging towards

completion such as Irwin Mitchell and WSP taking large chunks of space in the city centre and whilst

these high profile transactions attract the bigger headlines and underpin the take up statistics, it is the

sub 5,000 square foot market which continues to thrive with this number of transactions again

accounting for 80% of the market in 2017. Landlords who are willing to refurbish tired office space to

meet the changing needs of occupiers will be rewarded with rental growth. We have seen in buildings

such as 196 Deansgate and Abbey House a sharp increase in achieved rents’.

Increasingly Manchester is

viewed as the capital of the

Northern Powerhouse as the

concept gains momentum in

transforming the economy of

Northern England.

As much as anything

else, planning the economy

of the north as one major

urban area with significant

economic centres such as

Greater Manchester, Mer-

seyside, Sheffield, Leeds and

South Yorkshire, as well as

the North East exerts its own

influence on growth.

To some extent we will

see the investment in infra-

structure by Network Rail

which is improving capacity

in a host of relatively modest

ways. Transport is surely the

key to growth in the region.

Also vital is that the ma-

jor cities are equipped with

modern office and industrial

space, which is surely true

of Manchester and Leeds.

Elected mayors, such as Andy

Burnham in Manchester, are

playing a vital political role,

also aiding the rebalancing of

the UK away from the south.

The developers are play-

ing a significant role in this as

we can see with Peel at Liver-

pool Waters. Whatever is said

about property developers,

many of them take the lo


view such as Peel and Michael

Ingall’s Allied London at

Spinningfields. Before people

starting shouting the words

“property speculators” they

shoud take a look around

some of the new areas that

have transformed cities in the

north (and elsewhere).

An indication of the current

confident mood in Manch ster is

that the big NOMA develop nt

is moving along with a co tractor

appointed for the £34 mi lion

refurbishment of Hanov r, a

city centre warehouse.

It is being remodelled to provide

8,434 sq.metres (91,000


) of

Grade A offices and 1,672 sq.metres



) of retail and leisure.

Th developers, Hermes and the

Co-op, hope to attract technology

and creative companies to the property

in the m rging district for innovative

businesses. Ben Tolhurst of Hermes

said: “Hanover will offer prime

heritage space that will appeal to

businesses wanting the connectivity

to Victoria station and the amenities

offered by the Northern Quarter”.

On the move


One of the more interesting

deals in Manchester brought

the l rgest Indian bicycle maker

to the city to open a £2 million

design centre.

Hero Cycles produces one in 20

of all the bikes produced in the world

and is now likely to open a production

plant in the city, which is well known

for being the home of British Cycling.

Ideally, Hero would like to supply its

top bikes to the UK team.

Pankaj Munjal, Hero’s Chairman,

pointed to Manchester’s history of

innovation, citing computers and

graphene as examples, as another

reason for the move, together with

the large student population.

Hero already owns Avocet, a

Manchester based bike designer that




If any company has influenced

the life of a major city, then

surely it has to be Peel with its

huge scheme for Liverpool

following on from the magic

it has created in Salford.

This is evident from JLL whose

Stephen Hogg said: “Growth in

Liverpool, in part led by

regeneration schemes such as

Peel’s £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters

and the new £1 billion knowledge

quarter, is drawing further interest

from institutional investors”.

Such is the success of the office

market that HMRC’s leasing of the

32,515 sq.metres (350,000



India Building, which is owned

by Shelborn Asset Management,

has created something of a

supply crisis.

The problem has been caused

by the city’s success in the past year

which has taken so much out of

the market through lettings and

conversion to residential while

developers sat on their hands so

that a shortage became inevitable.

Noting the shortage of available

space, Ian Steele of GVA said:

“Given the current levels of

demand and absorption rates, it is

likely that this supply will diminish

within the next 6 to 12 months,

leaving the city without any

buildings that can offer occupiers

large Grade A floorplates”.

He added that this is likely to

reduce future levels of demand as

well as Liverpool’s ability to attract

large scale inward investment.

One major scheme going ahead

is in Lime Street, with ISG set to

deliver the £39 million mixed use

project for a partnership of Neptune

Developments, Liverpool City

Council and Sigma Capital on a site

owned by the Curlew Student Trust.

The scheme will have 5 retail

units, a 10 storey building of

student accommodation with 412

units and a Premier Inn with 101

bedr oms. Andy McLinden of ISG

comm nted: “Th Lime Street area

has been in desperate need of a

catalyst scheme to revitalise this

key thoroughfare near the centre

of the city. The mixed use scheme

represents the first phase of the

knowledge quarter master plan

and is a hugely important regional

project that will enhance the

character and aspiration of this

key gateway in the city”.





Through boom and bust,

Manchester continues to

perform as it follows the long

settled path of being a

world-class city to match its

soccer teams and music scene.

The ambition is being stepped

up at MIPIM with an enlarged

corporate participation in a pavilion

on the Croissete. The market is also

holding up in all areas with the city

centre notching up a big take up figure again and steady

performances in Warrington, south Manchester and Salford Quays

to complete the picture.

The outlook for new development in the city centre is favourable,

particularly because of a shortage of prime stock and further indicated

by the forward momentum of the major NOMA scheme by the

Co-op and Hermes. Bew development is also occurring elsewhere in

the region, such as another town centre project in Rochdale.

An important par of the equation is that former Chancellor of

the Exchequ r, Geo ge Osborne’s enthusiasm for the Northern

Powerhouse is continuing with sufficient energy behind the

campaign to make it work.

The other important dimension is that Liverpool appears to have

broken o t of the deca es long cycle of decline and has lots of

positive things happening in the economy and property industry.

The fact that it has a growing city centre population of young

professionals surely says something about its attractions.



Fr nkel Brow

are hosting an open

day on Friday 17th March to

showcase 910 Birchwood Boulevard

B siness Park, th ir latest

refurbishment of an 8,500


detached office building in

Birchwood, Warrington and also to

discuss further plans for Birchwood

Boulevard Business Park. All are

welcome - contact the agents,

BE Group or Knight Frank.

NW Editorial March 2017:Layout 1 6/3/17 16:04 Page 4




Harry Skinner