Property round-up: Salix Homes; Savills; Blackpool MSC; Chester Northgate; Alliance; Regional Property Solutions

The Salix scheme

NatWest Bank is backing a highly sustainable, affordable housing development in Salford, which will be one of the first, and largest Passivhaus-certified apartment schemes ever delivered in the UK to date.

Housing association Salix Homes has struck a deal with its banking partner, for an undisclosed sum, to help finance the Greenhaus development on Chapel Street.

The Greenhaus development will be the sixth phase of homes on Chapel Street which will bring forward 96 affordable and highly energy-efficient homes to the city.

Marcos Navarro, director of housing finance and sustainability lead at NatWest, said: “The Greenhaus development is an innovative housing project that not only creates new, affordable housing as part of Salford’s Masterplan, but homes that have strong eco-credentials. As a bank we are committed to supporting projects that offer green solutions, and we will continue to work with Salix Homes and other partners on future projects that will positively benefit our communities as well as our planet.”

The flagship apartment block will be built opposite Salford Cathedral and will be constructed to Passivhaus standards, which is a method of low-energy construction to build thermally efficient, ‘green’ homes with minimal energy required to provide heating and hot water.

Greenhaus will be delivered by ECF –-a strategic joint venture between leading urban regenerator, Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England – as part of the wider, £1bn 50-acre Salford Central masterplan.

Salford landlord Salix Homes is the housing association partner for Greenhaus, which will comprise one- and two-bedroom apartments and will take the overall percentage of affordable homes delivered by ECF to 25% across the entire masterplan area.

Sue Sutton, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “Salix Homes is committed to building more desperately needed new and affordable homes and this deal with our funders will enable us to bring those ambitions to life at Greenhaus.”

Salix Homes has also secured grants from Homes England and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to help fund the multimillion-pound scheme.

Properties that are built to Passivhaus standards enjoy reduced energy consumption of around 90% compared with building regulations, helping residents to reduce their fuel bills and cut their carbon footprints. The homes at Greenhaus will benefit from triple-glazed windows and the latest in insulation technology, using minimal energy for heating and cooling. The development also includes new public Electric Vehicle parking spaces, a public square and greatly enhanced landscaping in the area.

Construction is expected to start on site in the coming weeks and will take around two years.


The lobby at 60 Spring Gardens

Catella APAM, represented jointly by Savills and CBRE, has completed a new letting at 60 Spring Gardens in Manchester city centre to Bally Interactive.

The gaming and software developer has agreed a new 10-year lease for 5,670 sq ft of fully fitted workspace on the building’s first floor. The deal follows a major refurbishment of the Grade II-listed building, originally designed by the renowned architect Alfred Waterhouse, with Bally Interactive taking a new ‘plug and play’ fit out, incorporating fully fitted creative studio space.

Andrew Cooke, associate director in the office agency team at Savills Manchester, said: “We are continuing to see good demand for fully fitted office space, and the offering at 60 Spring Gardens is of standout quality, providing a range of fixed and flexible desks, meeting rooms and communal space. It is testament to this that Bally Interactive has chosen the scheme for its next office and we’re delighted to have completed on the deal.”

Located within Manchester’s central business district, 60 Spring Gardens is situated in close proximity to King Street with its array of local amenities. Six by Nico and Black Sheep Coffee are based in the ground floor of the building, with other nearby operators including Rosso, King Street Townhouse and Hotel Gotham.

Bally Interactive was represented by JLL.

Richard Wharton, director at JLL, said: “Following an extensive search of the city centre office market, 60 Spring Gardens was the unanimous choice for our client’s new office, providing a fully fitted offer allowing speed of access and a high quality collaborative workplace together with excellent on site amenity.”

Peter Barker, senior asset manager at Catella APAM, said: “The well thought out refurbished space is perfect for their flexible office requirement and their desire to be located in the heart of Manchester’s CBD.”


Blackpool Central Seasiders Way

After gaining detailed planning consent in October 2021, developer, Nikal, has signed up the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) to fund the delivery of the new 1,306 space Multi Storey Car Park (MSCP).

As part of the deal, Blackpool Council has agreed an underlease of the MSCP and will operate the car park once built. Nikal has also selected construction and development company, Ballast Nedam, to build the MSCP with construction expected to start in early 2022 and take around 16 months to complete.

Richard Fee, Nikal chief executive, said: “This is an important step forward and builds momentum behind Blackpool Central.

“We look forward to breaking ground on this crucial first phase, which will kick-start one of the UK’s most important regeneration projects.”


Doghouse, in Manchester

Independent Scottish craft brewer BrewDog is heading to one of the UK’s most historic cities and opening a bar as part of the Chester Northgate development when the scheme fully opens in autumn 2022.

Since its launch in 2007, BrewDog now has more than 100 bars across the globe, exports into 60 countries, and has breweries in Ellon Scotland, Columbus Ohio, Berlin Germany and Brisbane Australia.

Its locations include the Doghouse, in Bruntwood Works’ new Bloc development on Fountain Street, in Manchester, which opened last year.

BrewDog will join The Florist, Tapas Revolution, Cosy Club and Picturehouse Cinema already announced as key lettings and will occupy a 3,000 sq ft space fronting Princess Street and the newly named Exchange Square at the heart of the Northgate development in the city centre.

Clr Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: “We are delighted to secure such a high profile and innovative brand to join us at Northgate, BrewDog will be a fantastic asset to the scheme.

“Their unique and maverick approach has established a reputation as a world famous brewer, and I know residents and visitors to Chester will be excited to see them in the city.”

In securing the BrewDog letting, the council was advised by its retained Leasing Managers RivingtonHark.


The Squires Gate Lane property

Property Alliance Group has acquired a 32,166 sq ft industrial unit in Blackpool for £1.3m.

Located adjacent to Blackpool Retail Park and to the south of the town centre, off Squires Gate Lane, the property comprises a ground floor warehouse with offices above.

The deal will see Alliance invest a further £250,000 into refurbishing the unit, resulting in upgrades to both the interior and exterior. A larger, open plan area will be created inside the building and a secure fence, gates and LED lighting installed outside. Alliance will also carry out extensive improvements to the 1.1 acre yard.

Ian Hunter, director at Property Alliance Group, said: “This property was formerly occupied by Booker and following our investment, will be significantly improved with a warehouse suitable for a variety of uses.

“Forming part of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone and around two miles from the M55, the unit is situated in a thriving area. We’re confident that its location coupled with the quality of our refurbishment will result in a swift letting. This is our first acquisition in Blackpool and with the Enterprise Zone rapidly developing, we’re seeking opportunities for further investments in the year ahead.”


Ambassador Place

The freehold office investment at 9 Ambassador Place, Altrincham has been sold by a private pension to ESSELLE Pension Scheme for £355,000.

The fully income producing property, let on a five-year lease until September 2023 at a rental of £25,000 per annum, reflects a net initial yield of seven per cent.

It comprises 1,910 sq ft over three floors with nine car spaces.

Daniel Lee, managing director, Regional Property Solutions, who acted for the private vendor, said: “This sale reflects the continued attraction for high spec self-contained office buildings in town centres, particularly in Altrincham where there is a real lack of good quality office investments of this size and this one attracted enquiries from a wide range of investors.”