Property round-up: Exchange Quay; St James’s Tower; Infinity; Regional Property Solutions; New Start

Exchange Quay Building 8 reception
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Following the successful transformation of the reception area in Building 8 last year, the team at Exchange Quay has re-appointed architecture and interior design studio, Jasper Sanders + Partners, along with contractor Aztec Interiors, to further extend the reception revamp at the Manchester office development.

Works have now commenced on the reception area of Building 5 and Till Asset Management, acting on behalf of Exchange Quay, has announced a further investment into remodeling the Building 1 reception area as part of the scheme’s ongoing commitment to heightening its occupier experience.

The investment into upgrading the reception areas totals some £500,000.

Similarly to Building 8, the new revamped reception areas will focus on carefully restoring the design intent of the original buildings, and the architects will seek inspiration from two nearby canal systems to create a maritime theme for both reception areas.

The buildings will benefit from new wall paneling, carefully crafted joinery and a finish that incorporates the external features and brings a classic sense of identity back to the two buildings, while introducing a more modern way of working.

North West contractor Aztec Interiors will undertake the six week programme to upgrade the reception in Building 5 first before moving onto Building 1.

Liam MacCarthy, director at Till Asset Management, said: “Following some excellent tenant feedback on Building 8, we were pleased to welcome back the leading design team to continue the works on the entrance areas of Building 5 and also 1.”

Jasper Sanders, design director at Jasper Sanders + Partners, said: “Creating the re-design for reception 8 at one of the most impressive office developments in the North was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and we are looking forward to the opportunity to continue implementing the design on Building 5 and then Building 1.”

The quoting rent on Exchange Quay is £20 per sq ft plus car parking.

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St James’s Tower

OBI has announced a double letting at St James’s Tower in Manchester after it carried out a full refurbishment of its seventh and 14th floors.

Both floors were delivered fully fitted, with meeting rooms, kitchen, and reception and waiting areas, including furniture to provide a ‘plug & play’ workspace. The seventh floor was sub-divided to accommodate smaller requirements of 1,100 sq ft and 1,700 sq ft, with OBI providing interior design and project management services on behalf of the landlord.

Ahead of the completion of the works, OBI’s transactions and asset management team pre-let the 14th floor to BB Legal, extending to 3,000 sq ft and a suite of 1,100 sq ft to Taylors Solicitors on the part seventh.

Richard Lace from OBI’s transactions and asset management team, said: “The investment from the landlord to provide fully furnished suites was rewarded with two transactions from occupiers looking for workspace that they could move into quickly, with minimal capital expenditure on transparent, all-inclusive rents, and on flexible terms with a short form lease agreement.

“It’s highly likely that as the effects of COVID continue to be felt by businesses and the office market, this type of offering will experience increasing demand”.

Following the successful transactions agreed with BB Legal and Taylors Solicitors, OBI, acting as the landlord’s asset manager, has subsequently agreed to deliver a similar hybrid leasing solution on the 12th floor, the final remaining full floor in the building, to attract further high calibre occupiers to the building.

It was also recently announced that managed workspace provider Regus had launched a new centre at the building. Regus which has taken the part ground, first, fourth and fifth floors, will offer flexible workspace as well as meeting and conferencing facilities which will add further amenity to benefit its tenants and occupiers of the wider building.

Savills acted as joint leasing advisor.

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Sarah Butler

A plot of land in Tameside earmarked for housing has been sold for a six-figure sum by a property development fund managed by investment group Infinity.

The 2.15-acre site in Dukinfield was part of a land bank held by the Infinity Real Estate Development Fund. A property developer has now acquired the site, which lies between Tower Street, Sandy Lane and Prospect Road and has planning permission for 21 houses.

The Infinity Real Estate Development Fund has invested in commercial and residential schemes and sites across the North West, including ones in Manchester city centre, Salford Quays and Liverpool, as well as further afield.

Salford Quays-based Infinity is led by partners Daniel Finestein, Sarah Butler and Phil Vickers. It provides fund management, regulatory hosting and corporate advisory services across the UK and internationally.

Sarah Butler said: “We are pleased to have completed the latest deal for the Infinity Real Estate Development Fund, paving the way for new housing in Tameside.

“In this uncertain and challenging economic climate, the market for real estate transactions remains strong and we have some very exciting plans for the coming year.”

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213 Ashley Road

Regional Property Solutions has been appointed by private investors to manage on their behalf four commercial properties South Manchester.

In Hale, 195 Ashley Road, is let to the popular Vikings Blinds and Hardware Store. The four-storey building, including basement, comprises 1,927 sq ft. 213 Ashley Road, comprising 3,072 sq ft on ground and two upper floors, is let to estate agents Thornley Groves.

89 High Street Cheadle, a ground floor shop of 766 sq ft, is let to fishmongers ‘Sea It Fresh’. Next door, 89A, comprising 1,526 sq ft on ground and first floor, is let to hairdressers GF trading as ‘Natural Reaction’ who occupy the ground floor shop unit and sublet the first floor to a dentist.

Daniel Lee, director, Regional Property Solutions, said: “We are looking forward to actively managing these buildings and providing a full management service to the investors.

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New Start Homes

A Merseyside not-for-profit organisation helping to house the region’s homeless has moved to a new Anfield headquarters, with support from Lloyds Bank.

New Start, a provider of residential and supported accommodation to people in need, has relocated to an 8,000 sq ft premises after outgrowing its previous base within the Wavertree Job Bank.

The family-run organisation secured a £350,000 funding package from Lloyds Bank to purchase and renovate the new space, formerly The Poppy Centre. The move came after a sharp rise in demand for its services saw New Start grow its team by more than 20 staff during 2020.

Formed in 1997, New Start now has a team of more than 150 staff who provide a broad range of housing and social care services to hundreds of men, women and children across Merseyside.

Neil Baynes, New Start managing director, said: “Even before the pandemic, one in every 200 people in England found themselves without a home. And we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for our services since March – a worrying trend we unfortunately expect to continue for some time.

“The move to our new dedicated HQ will allow us to consolidate all our resources under one roof and will serve as the central hub of our operation as we continue to provide support to people on Merseyside.”

Lloyds Bank also previously supported the organisation with a separate £330,000 funding package in April, when the Government launched its ‘Everyone In’ scheme requiring councils to find self-contained accommodation for all rough sleepers during the first wave of the pandemic.

To meet this need, New Start took the decision to purchase a previously disused hotel in Southport, providing immediate shelter to 19 people in need. The facility, which remains in use, also created 11 additional roles for support staff.

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