Developers in Manchester are planning to demolish a 50,000 sq ft office block, in order to replace it with a brand new 80,000 sq ft ‘sexy’ office tower in Manchester city centre, which will also feature leisure and retail space on the ground floor.
The office tower had previous plans for redevelopment, but due to the recession nothing has ever been cemented in stone. ING Real Estate had plans for a £60 million redevelopment in 2007, but pulled out in 2008. However, the London based developers, Terrace Hill who have recruited a professional team to create a planning application for the sexy new office block, complete with leisure and retail commercial space. The developers hope to submit the planning application to councillors next year.
Speaking of the plans, Andy Lavin, Development Executive at Terrace Hill, expressed: “What we want to build is a sexy Manchester building for smaller occupiers. By doing that we’re trying to hit a market that has not been catered for in years.”
“Aside from Argent’s development at One Saint Peter’s Square – which has large floor plates for larger occupiers – there will be nothing like it in the central business district. It will appeal to the true Manchester market,” Mr Lavin added.
So what makes the office tower sexy? According to the developers, the office floors will be built in suites of around 3000 sq ft or more. This means that both small and larger companies will be able to use the office space, as the suites can be joined together and split apart to create a tailor made space.
Mr Lavin explained: “The concept is to produce flexible office floor space that can be split into smaller suites. Of course, we’ll try and find a large, single occupier, but our real focus will be on smaller occupiers, perhaps people growing out of serviced office accommodation into something bigger and new.” Prices are expected to be around £27 per sq ft.
If panning permission is granted, the development work will begin in 2013, which will coincide with when the current leases are due to expire, as Mr Lavin, put across: “The timing works in our favour. By the time we have planning permission, we will have a better idea of the direction of the European and UK economy.”
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