Boultbee Brooks Real Estate (BBRE) — the privately owned investor and developer which has the core of its portfolio in the Shoreditch and Clerkenwell areas of London — has paid £16m for three Manchester office properties.
Local property group M20, which sold the trio of city centre buildings in an off-market deal with the help of OBI Property, says it will use the money raised to acquire new assets and help it reach its 2018 portfolio target of £100m.
The acquisition of the three sites — at 67-75 Mosley Street, 79 Mosley Street and Castlefield Chapel — brings BBRE’s investment in the Manchester office market to £28m.
M20 is owned and managed by Peter Quinn, Matthew Stone and Nils Wager and targets “problematic” properties in the North West previously controlled by local authorities and which offer refurbishment opportunities. “We are now focused on new opportunities to add to our existing portfolio,” said Matthew Stone.
“We are pleased that the tenacity of our extremely knowledgeable team combined with our strong cash position has enabled us to strategically identify assets where we can add value and maximise our position and we exit these assets at a point that exceeds our targeted returns.”
BBRE has confirmed it intends to upgrade the two Mosley Street buildings to Grade A office space in line with other nearby St Peter’s Square regeneration schemes.
The boutique law firm Pannone Corporate Solicitors — created after Australian firm Slater & Gordon bought the historic Manchester practice Pannone — signed a 10-year lease on the entire Grade II listed Castlefield Chapel, Deansgate, in 2014.
Boasting a £350m office portfolio, BBRE recently purchased 30 Brown Street and Croxley House in Manchester. The majority of its tenants, including its Shoreditch and Clerkenwell occupants, are within the digital and creative sectors.
“We are delighted to have acquired some of the most exciting refurbishment opportunities available in Manchester,” commented BBRE’s James Whitcher. “We now have a critical mass of assets in the city to replicate our London model and become one of the city’s most successful providers of quality workspace.”
Andrew Cowell is transactions and asset management at commercial agents OBI Property. “We take great pride on how we look after our clients buildings and although we were very close to pushing the button on the refurbishment projects of the two Mosley Street buildings, this off market approach enabled M20 to maximise returns in a short period of time and to now focus on new opportunities,” he said.
“OBI Property specialises in converting off market transactions and we are delighted with the end result.” BBRE was advised by Rob Cannock at Aurum Real Estate.