It seems that Manchester has settled back into ‘work as usual’ mode despite the considerable amount of retail commercial property damage that occurred during the riots last month in the city centre.
The largest of central Manchester’s commercial property and office landlords, Bruntwood, reported twenty separate incidents at eleven of its buildings in the Piccadilly area of Manchester and the company’s chief executive Chris Oglesby has already stated that the firm is ready to work with their tenants throughout the city to get them back up and running once again.
Another commercial property company that was directly affected by the riots was Sanderson Weatherall, which saw three windows at its Spring Gardens Manchester office smashed as a fierce attack on a next-door Sainsbury store spread to surrounding commercial property. Tim Catterall from Sanderson Weatherall said that no-one from the firm was affected and that Manchester City Council had cleared up the debris before they arrived for work.
Of all the commercial property to take the brunt of the looters’ vandalism inManchester, it seems retail was particularly hard hit. Notably, the Miss Selfridge store on the bustling Market Street shopping run was set alight during the late afternoon, an event that was captured on video and broadcasted on national news again and again.
Commercial property on the main Manchester shopping strips of Market Street, St Ann’s Square, Deansgate and the more upmarket King Street were affected. Former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher’s new boutique, Pretty Green, was ransacked and the Bang & Olufsen electronics store was similarly broken into and cleaned out. Other commercial property at the PRUPIM scheme’s Arndale Centre were also targeted, with youths making a beeline for the Foot Asylum shoe store.
According to Capital Shopping Centre, the damage at the Arndale Centre was mostly done to shop frontages, with the only actual break-in occurring at Foot Asylum. Around fourteen commercial property units with external shop windows on Market Street and New Cathedral Street were damaged. The total could have been much higher were it not for the decision to close the scheme early.
Glen Barkworth, general manager at Manchester Arndale, said: ‘We were well prepared and had already made the decision to close early when we were targeted by a number of youths intent on creating trouble. As the night progressed, the situation worsened and unfortunately one of our designer footwear stores was badly hit.’
Commercial property elsewhere in Manchester was also affected. Salford Estates Salford Shopping City scheme was the focus of much of the borough’s trouble. However, Justin Rouse at Avid Property Consultants based on Oxford Street said that there was little trouble to commercial property in their part of the city. ‘The main indication that something was wrong was how quiet the roads were – a lot of people had been sent home from work early.’
Commercial property in Liverpool city centre seemed to escape damage with the disturbances happening away from the city centre, mostly in Toxteth, Wavertree, Bootle and Birkenhead on the Wirral.
Miles Dunnett, head of asset management and acting fund manager with Grosvenor, said that the firm’s commercial property at the Liverpool One shopping centre was not affected.