Bruntwood Group in multimillion-pound office acquisition

Pall Mall Court

Manchester-based property group Bruntwood has announced the multimillion-pound acquisition of landmark office building Pall Mall Court in Manchester city centre from the Ardstone Regional Office Fund, a joint venture fund between Ardstone Capital and CBRE IM.

This is the second office acquisition for the firm in the North over the past few months, following the purchase of Castle House in Leeds, underlying its commitment and confidence to its growing customer base and the UK’s regional markets.

Building on the recent success of its Pioneer developments Bloc, Blackfriars House and 111 Piccadilly, which deliver buildings where innovation and businesses can thrive, the purchase has been driven by the resurgence of demand for inspirational, flexible office space in the city centre.

Located near to the investor and developer’s neighbouring buildings, Manchester Club, York House and Bloc, Pall Mall will form part of a cluster of properties allowing customers to benefit from shared facilities and services.

This connected community will have access to collaborative co-working and community areas, enhanced wellbeing facilities and a regular programme of inspiring business support services and events.

Bruntwood Works, the workspace, retail and leisure arm of the Bruntwood Group, will now design, develop and deliver the refurbishment of the Grade II-listed office building. Located on King Street in the heart of the city’s business district, the property contains 83,808 sq ft of office space across three blocks.

The ground floor will be transformed to feature a new hospitality-led arrival experience, growing the city centre’s enviable food and beverage offer, and will incorporate outside seating in the external piazza, creating a new public space for the people of Manchester to gather and socialise.

Pall Mall will be the latest workspace to be reimagined as part of Bruntwood Works’ Pioneer programme, a £100m project to create vibrant, community-focused workspaces centred on six key pillars: Biophilia, art, sustainability, wellness, amenity and technology.

Bloc, Blackfriars House, 111 Piccadilly are also part of the Pioneer scheme in Manchester with others due for completion in Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham in the next 12 months.

Andrew Butterworth, Bruntwood Group commercial director, said: “Manchester’s city centre is back and with it the increased demand for spaces that allow innovation and enterprise to flourish. Pall Mall is one of the city’s most recognisable buildings and we’re excited to not only bring it into our portfolio, but to invest in an exciting transformation.

“Work patterns have changed since the pandemic, but this has made the functionality of the office even more critical. They not only need to be places that people want to go to, but spaces that enable teams to come together and do their best work.”

Ciara Keeling, CEO of Bruntwood Works, said: “We are thrilled to be announcing the latest building in our Pioneer scheme, which is creating the future of workspace design with unique retail and leisure offerings. Pall Mall is a beautiful Grade II-listed building with enormous potential, in a thriving part of the city centre, so it was the perfect choice for us.

“And we’ve only just begun. Our ambition continues to be to bring innovation to the forefront of Manchester’s office market, providing unparalleled workspaces that offer inspiration and flexibility while also championing wellbeing, hospitality and sustainability.

“This latest acquisition marks an exciting milestone in the growth and development of our Manchester portfolio, bolstered by its position within a cluster of our existing properties. We always see huge potential in the city and we are excited to continue to grow our Pioneer programme over the coming years.”

The site will offer the full spectrum of workspaces for customers, from pay as you go spaces, memberships, co-working to serviced offices, leased and made & managed workspaces. Extensive retail, wellbeing and amenity facilities will also be at the core of the new scheme.

Mike Cecil, head of UK asset management at Ardstone Capital, said “We are delighted that Pall Mall Court’s undoubted potential will now be realised and that it will make a great contribution to the centre of Manchester. The sale will now allow us to concentrate on further projects in Edinburgh and Bristol.

CBRE and Addleshaw Goddard advised Bruntwood Works on the transaction.

Ardstone Capital was advised by Avison Young and Pinsent Masons.