Investment vehicle launched by ex JLL chair snaps up former aircraft factory for £9.3m

David Lathwood

An investment vehicle launched by former JLL chairman has acquired a 35,000 sq ft former aircraft factory in Manchester for £9.3m.

Pitalia Real Estate, the development and investment vehicle, has completed its first deal following the acquisition of Aeroworks in Manchester.

The former aircraft factory, re-designed by Stephenson Studio architects, is home to FTSE 250 online travel specialist, On the Beach.

OTB became the sole occupier of the the building on Adair Street in Manchester’s Ancoats district in 2018 on a ten-year lease.

Pitalia Real Estate, which was launched in March this year by former JLL North West chairman, David Lathwood, has acquired the building from privately owned propco, Epsilon. The deal represents an initial yield of 5.25%.

Located close to Piccadilly train station, next to the site of Capital & Centric’s forthcoming Leonardo Hotel and within the council’s Portugal Street East regeneration zone, Aeroworks underwent a multimillion-pound refit ahead of OTB’s move.

This saw the creation of workspace that includes a 250-seat auditorium, beach bar and library.

David Lathwood, CEO of Pitalia Real Estate, said: “Aeroworks is a fantastic asset that’s located in a part of the city centre we expect to thrive post-lockdown.

“The dynamics in Ancoats, with its large population of young professionals, renowned independent food scene and night time economy and proximity to major transport hubs are hard to beat.

“As our first purchase, Aeroworks ticks all of our boxes. It’s in a location that is very likely to get better over coming years and the building offers space that we believe fits contemporary occupiers needs.

Aeroworks is home to On the Beach

“We believe that the current rent is highly reversionary and as our first foray into the market, we are thrilled to have purchased the building off market.

Pitalia Real Estate is a part of the Pitalia Group, which is a private investment company founded by entrepreneur Anil Pitalia.

Pitalia Real Estate was represented by Colliers International. Epsilon were not represented in the sale.

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