Property round-up: Alexander House; Tawd Valley Developments; Great Places; 2 Hardman Street; BEC; Oldham Council

Alexander House

The sale of a site formerly used by a firm of solicitors will pave the way for more than 100 new homes being built in Old Trafford.

Alexander House, located on Talbot Road, has planning consent for conversion to 110 apartments within the existing block and becomes the sixth office building sold for residential redevelopment in the Trafford Borough by Savills within the past four years.

Occupying a prime site within Old Trafford, the building extends to 10 storeys and forms a significant part of the area’s skyline alongside Oakland House. The site also has positive pre-application feedback for a rooftop extension of Alexander House and a new-build development in the rear car park for around 30 additional units.

The sale of Alexander House to Chester-based Blueoak for residential development follows similar sales by the Savills development team in the Trafford Borough, including Westpoint, Metropolitan House, Warwick House, Trafford Plaza and Nelson House.

Ed Rooney, director at Savills in Manchester, said: “We are really pleased to have completed the sale of Alexander House, which will not only prove to be a welcome boost to the residential market supply in Old Trafford but deliver homes that will benefit from the excellent existing transport links in the area.

“Old Trafford is changing significantly and becoming a sought after location to live within and work, whist also retaining the renowned and world class sporting venues. A real mixed use community on the edge of Manchester city centre.”

Last year Savills’ North West development team completed deals on 18 sites – totalling almost £93m – spread across Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.


CGI of Northfield plans

Affordable housing developer Tawd Valley Developments has celebrated securing the latest grant from Homes England to support the delivery of new stock for West Lancashire Borough Council.

The £945,000 award will go towards the firm’s £2m, 27-unit scheme at Northfield in Skelmersdale, which is due to hand over to the council in October this year.

This sum brings the total amount secured by Tawd Valley Developments on behalf of West Lancashire Council to £2m in the past 12 months. Managing director, Mark Kitts, believes the relationship with Homes England is only set to grow, to the benefit of local residents, saying: “We aim to demonstrate that we’re a reliable delivery partner and that we can take our relationship up a notch.

“Our focus is on delivering sustainable development that adds value for the people of West Lancashire whilst fulfilling the Government’s housing ambitions.”

Kitts says that working alongside the council in addressing local housing needs is a major priority and providing homes across affordable housing tenures and the ladder to home ownership are amongst the biggest strategic challenges faced by the different agencies involved in social and affordable housing.

“There is a big funding challenge here that can’t be ignored. We welcome the ongoing engagement and support from government and Homes England in addressing our own estate renewal needs so that, ultimately, everyone in West Lancashire can enjoy homes of a good standard.

”We’re exploring further funding opportunities with Homes England, but in the meantime we remain extremely focused on demonstrating our live delivery capabilities.”


Slyne Road plans

Work has started in Lancaster on the second development for Great Places’ in-house construction company Terra Nova Developments.

The £2m development, on Slyne Road, will be a mixture of two two-bed bungalows and 12 three-bed houses available for shared ownership.

Slyne Road is part of the wider development plans for the area and is ideally located with excellent access to local facilities and links to public transport and the M6 for commuters.

Helen Spencer, executive director of growth at Great Places, said: “This development will provide much needed affordable homes in the area, offering a mix of homes ideal for families and those looking to downsize.

“Terra Nova has made considerable progress since its launch in 2019. Alongside Slyne Road we will be starting work on two additional sites in the North West over summer, and are in negotiations for several additional sites which will be coming through in the next few months.”

Work is scheduled to be completed by March, with handovers expected to start in early 2023. Sales will be handled by shared ownership specialists, Plumlife Sales.


2 Hardman Street

JLL has worked with landlord Hansainvest on the complete refurbishment and repositioning of the prestigious 2 Hardman Street, Manchester, delivering best in class Grade A office space in the heart of one of Manchester’s leading business districts.

The newly-designed office space totals 65,000 sq ft, with floor plates ranging from 8,000 – 20,000 sq ft, across four floors. The building has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. Once a soda water factory, a hat-making works and a silk finishing mill, the spot was more recently home to Deloitte, whose departure freed up the iconic space for refurbishment.

One of the first wholescale refurbishments of its size to take place in the successful Spinningfields neighborhood, the building showcases changing workspace trends and the focus on repositioning office buildings to meet the needs of the modern office occupier.

As revealed by JLL’s own research, in order to meet the net-zero targets of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, as well as the green agenda of potential occupiers, improving the environmental performance of existing office stock is key. Following the refurbishment, 2 Hardman Street is set to achieve an EPC rating of B and BREEAM very good rating, incorporating renewable energy sources in place of fossil fuels.

JLL’s building consultancy team has overseen the full redevelopment of the building and its office agency team is now engaged in marketing the space. Bluesky Design was the architect, ADT was the contractor and DS Emotion is responsible for marketing.

James Devany, director of JLL’s national office agency in Manchester, said: “As well as meeting ever-evolving sustainability standards, the design prioritises the wellness and connectivity of occupants. The new reception and amenity space is substantial, and the materials/finishes used give the space a really distinctive feel and identity.”

Jonathon Wiedemann, head of building consultancy at JLL in Manchester, said: “The refurbishment of 2 Hardman Street is a real success and a great project to deliver. The building is in a prime location, and the refurbishment injects life into the workspace whilst incorporating numerous sustainability initiatives.”


Kurt Canfield

A multi award-winning control systems company is the latest business to move to BEC’s Westlakes Science Park in Cumbria.

Regeneration expert BEC drives valuable regeneration that benefits local communities by reinvesting profits from its lettings portfolio into environmentally sensitive, community-driven developments.

Situated near Whitehaven, Westlakes Science Park continues to be a magnet for Europe’s most dynamic nuclear, research and development and technology businesses. Already home to more than 2,000 professionals, the park offers business premises of all sizes in a beautiful setting and this summer has seen a raft of new businesses move in or renew their leases.

These include the recent arrival of Delkia, a specialist systems integration company providing safety-related engineering and technical consultancy services.

Operating in the maritime, aerospace, defence and nuclear sectors, Delkia is part of Sellafield Ltd’s supply chain. Earlier this month it moved into 3,600 sq ft of office space at Westlakes.

Kurt Canfield, Delkia managing director, said: “Westlakes offers us the opportunity to work more closely with the many companies on site and provides us with the additional collaboration space we need to progress the many projects we have under way.”

Delkia, which currently has a headcount of 56, also has an office in Preston, plus a dedicated manufacturing assembly, testing and electronics lab in Egremont, West Cumbria.

Meanwhile, operational, maintenance and engineering services provider, Cumbria O&M Services, has trebled its floorspace by moving into a larger, more suitable office space at Derwentwater Pavilion reflecting the business’s significant growth over the past few years.

MissionCX, which provides specialist commissioning delivery services, has recently completed its move to larger premises at Westlakes after a hugely successful tenure at Barclays Eagle Labs Cumbria in the pioneering Bus Station.

And construction and infrastructure expert Costain has recently moved from an existing base at Westlakes to a bigger 3,500 sq ft office space.

Bill Graham, BEC’s head of investments, said: “It is great to be welcoming and supporting these pioneering businesses here at Westlakes which not only continues to attract the very best companies but, crucially, is a place where our existing tenants are thriving and want to stay.”


Prudential Assurance Building

Oldham Council has issued a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to save the derelict Prudential Assurance Building in the town centre.

The Grade II-listed building has been named by the Victorian Society as one of the most endangered buildings in the UK.

Now, the council has taken legal action to acquire the Union Street building from its private owner to carry out much needed restoration and bring it back into use as a business incubation hub.

Oldham Council leader, Amanda Chadderton, said: “The Prudential building is a landmark in Oldham town centre but sadly it has been left to rot. We share the concerns of residents and heritage experts and are committed to protecting this important building for future generations.”

She added: “It has been largely unused for the past 12 years. Despite efforts to engage with the owner, it continues to fall further into disrepair, posing a danger to the public and becoming a target for anti-social behaviour. We will not sit by and watch this happen. The CPO will give us the powers to take action and give the Prudential building a brilliant new future.”

The Prudential building, built in 1889, was designed by one of the Victorian period’s greatest architects, Alfred Waterhouse, whose other buildings include the Natural History Museum and Manchester Town Hall.

At the heart of Oldham town centre’s conservation area, the council will bring the building back into use while preserving its historic character.

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