Henry Boot acquires landmark building

Henry Boot Developments has purchased Equitable Building, opposite the Grade I-listed St Anne’s Church in Manchester city centre which had a guide price of £12.5m.

The 28,500sq ft building forms a prime retail pitch onto St Anne’s square with several high-profile tenants including jewellers, Ernst Jones and David Robinson, who will remain.

The three upper floors, previously occupied by retailer Habitat, are currently vacant and provide a unique redevelopment opportunity with potential for a variety of uses.

The building which was originally offices, dates back to the late 19th century and lies within the St Anne’s Square conservation area.

Adam Brady, director for Henry Boot, said, “We’ve always loved this building so we were excited to see it come to the market.

“The building has so much potential and now we have the opportunity to do something special here.  Working with historic buildings comes with a unique set of challenges which can deter some developers, but for us this is what we know and what we do best.”

The acquisition further broadens Henry Boot Developments’ portfolio in the city core, which now includes the Silk Works in Spinningfields, The Courthouse, and the £250m Kampus joint venture with Capital & Centric.

Henry Boot Developments’ Manchester business has grown significantly in recent years, with the firm investing heavily in the city. UK wide, 2016 saw Henry Boot Developments build out 875,000 sq ft space, pre-fund £600m worth of development and enter into £360m worth of development contracts.

Christopher Dee acted on behalf of Henry Boot and Cushman & Wakefield on behalf of the vendor.