NOMA to push ahead with speculative office development

4 Angel Square

A build contract has been signed for the latest office development at NOMA, a 20-acre mixed-use neighbourhood in Manchester city centre.

Construction firm Bowmer + Kirkland has been appointed as the main contractor on 4 Angel Square and physical works will start on-site this year, with completion due in early 2023.

The 200,000 sq ft office development will form a key part of the emerging business district at NOMA.

MEPC and Federated Hermes are to develop 4 Angel Square speculatively, in a major vote of confidence in the Manchester office market.

MEPC and Federated Hermes aim to set new benchmarks for sustainable commercial property development with 4 Angel Square, which will be an operational net zero carbon building with an EPC A rating.

Federated Hermes, which recently acquired MEPC, is the investment manager of the NOMA development and manages the 20-acre neighbourhood on behalf of an institutional investor. MEPC is the development and asset manager for NOMA.

Paul Pavia, head of development at MEPC, said: “With widespread public and business support for a true ‘green recovery’ after the pandemic is over, we only expect occupier and investor demand for high quality, sustainable workspace to grow further, which is why we have committed to making 4 Angel Square operationally net zero carbon and raising the standard for sustainable office development.

“4 Angel Square will help drive Manchester’s recovery and support the city’s long-term growth by creating high-quality employment space designed appeal to major occupiers and support thousands of jobs.

“The construction phase will see work opportunities created specifically for local homeless and young people and we look forward to getting on-site with Bowmer + Kirkland.”

Designed by Manchester-based architect SimpsonHaugh, 4 Angel Square will sit on the corner of Corporation Street and Miller Street.

The sustainable, high-quality design of the development is aimed to appeal to major occupiers such as large companies and public sector organisations. They will join a thriving community of businesses, residents and creatives that have already made NOMA their home.

More than 2,000 people will be able to work at 4 Angel Square once the building is completed and in excess of 500 people will work on the development over the project’s lifecycle.

Specific employment opportunities will be created for local workers as well as the homeless, and apprenticeships and work placements available for young people.

Stephen Bradley, director–investment management at Federated Hermes, said: “We are confident in the Manchester market, which is why are continuing to develop 4 Angel Square speculatively, and believe Manchester stands to benefit from changes in occupier demands post-coronavirus.

“While work patterns will undoubtedly change, there will always be demand for well located, high-quality, highly sustainable workspace.”

Manchester City Council recently approved the updated strategic framework for the latest phases of NOMA, which will deliver a 620,000 sq ft of new-build office space – including 4 Angel Square – as well as new retail and leisure space. In total, there is 1m sq ft of commercial space in NOMA’s development pipeline.

The 20-acre neighbourhood is helping extend Manchester city centre northwards and will feed into the £1bn Northern Gateway regeneration project, where Far East Consortium is delivering more than 600 homes as part of the first phase.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “NOMA is playing a crucial role in revitalising a key part of Manchester city centre and today’s announcement is welcome news that will create jobs and drive investment into the city.

“Cities will need to move quickly to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 and it’s major projects such as this that help drive vital growth – and signals a city that remains attractive for development.”

4 Angel Square, which will be 11-storeys tall, features a hotel-style entrance lobby and reception area and around 2,500 sq ft of external 10th floor roof terrace.

On the ground floor, 7,000 sq ft of retail space will be provided and split over two units, together with a separate ground floor office suite perfect for a start-up or small business.

The ground floor retail space will help activate the new public square that is planned next to 4 Angel Square which will connect to the existing public realm surrounding One Angel Square.

The public square will also connect 4 Angel Square to 2&3 Angel Square, which will collectively deliver 400,000 sq ft of Grade A new-build office space once built.

4 Angel Square reception

Peter Gallagher, director at Colliers said: “Driven by surging occupier demand, there was a shortage of available Grade A office space in Manchester and this won’t have disappeared after the pandemic. 4 Angel Square will provide much needed high-quality workspace and the fact it is being developed speculatively is a huge vote of confidence in Manchester.”

James Devany, director at JLL, said: “Sustainability was already rising up the agenda before COVID-19 struck, but after the pandemic the search will be on for office space that is well designed and genuinely sustainable. 4 Angel Square ticks both boxes and we are confident interest in the development will be strong.”

The colonnade and coloured façade of 4 Angel Square will help connect the building to the listed estate at NOMA, where Amazon has opened its first UK HQ outside of London.

The global e-commerce giant announced it would be taking Hanover, a redeveloped drapery warehouse, in October last year.

Elsewhere in the listed estate, practical completion was recently achieved at Redfern, a former warehouse and office building, that has been redeveloped into 25,000 sq ft of office space with 7,600 sq ft of mixed ground floor retail and leisure space.

NOMA is also adapting the fit-out of Dantzic, another refurbished historic building where 45,000 sq ft of contemporary workspace is available, to be more flexible and appealing to smaller occupiers post-pandemic.

JLL and Colliers are retained office agents for NOMA.

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