Work has started on the construction of a 173,600 sq ft office building at First Street in Manchester city centre.
The office building has already been partially pre-let to Gazprom, which has taken 39,570 sq ft of space, with a further option on 11,590 sq ft.
The seven-storey development will be a key part of the 20-acre site, which already includes cultural arts venue HOME, Pizza Express, Sainsbury’s, a Q-Park car park, Indian street food restaurant The Indian Tiffin Room, as well as the 208-bedroom INNSIDE Manchester Hotel.
The new building has been forward-funded by Greater Manchester Property Fund (GMPVF) in a joint venture with First Street owners PATRIZIA UK who acquired the site in May 2015. Manchester-based developers Ask Real Estate Limited (AREL) will manage the construction phase of the development.
Councillors and members of staff from GMPVF, PATRIZIA and AREL gathered at the site last week to signal the start of construction.
James Muir, Managing Director of PATRIZIA UK and Ireland, said: “First Street has proved to be one of the prime office locations in the City and we are delighted to see the start of work on this latest building. There is certainly demand out there from occupiers and investors such as GMPVF which are keen to back such successful schemes.”
Councillor Susan Quinn added: “GMPVF has a long history of investing in developments in Greater Manchester to achieve its twin aims of commercial returns for the Pension Fund and positive impact in the area; we are delighted to be working with PATRIZIA on this prestigious development which follows on from our success at 1 St Peter’s Square.”
John Hughes of AREL also added: “First Street is an essential mixed-use scheme in the heart of city centre and this latest office building will bring more people and businesses into Manchester. Demand for high quality office space is extremely strong from companies looking to move into the centre from outlying areas. By being based at a great location such as First Street they can attract a higher calibre of staff who in turn have access to be best local amenities.”
GMPVF is a £400m property development fund for the north west of England. It forms part of the GM Pension Fund, the largest local authority Pension Fund in England, with assets in excess of £17 bn.
The new building, which has been designed by Fletcher Priest architects, is arranged with three paired floors above street level retail and leisure amenities. The building will be virtually column free and has double height winter gardens.