Property round-up: Russell WBHO; Travelodge Preston; Downtown Asset Management; Corn Exchange; Downing; Arrive; Dudleys Consulting Engineers

Solar PV installation on the roof of the Trafford Park HQ

New roof-mounted solar panels will save a leading regional construction business around 5.2 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions every year, the equivalent of planting 239 new trees.

Russell WBHO has installed the state-of-the-art PV system on the roof of its Trafford Park headquarters as part of its net zero by 2038 sustainability strategy.

The newly-installed PV array has an impressive output of 35.7kWp, utilising 84 high-efficiency 425W panels positioned strategically on the roof to capture the most sunlight. The system significantly reduces the firm’s reliance on non-renewable sources of energy and is expected to save around 30% of the office’s total annual power requirement and up to 80% during the summer.

It is the latest in a series of carbon reduction initiatives from the business, which was accredited in 2022 as a CarbonNeutral Company by Climate Impact Partners, specialist in carbon market solutions for climate action. As part of this, the business pledged to continue to reduce its remaining CO2 emissions, including those which were acknowledged as unavoidable and offset thorough investment in global carbon reduction projects.

The PV project saw Russell WBHO partner with SolPV Group to assist and ensure the installation was carried out in line with industry standards. John Millward, Russell WBHO construction director, said: “These measures, combined with the switch to EV, are key to helping us achieve our next interim milestone of a 17% reduction by 2024. We’re thrilled with the success of the system and want to thank our partner SolPV along with our in-house sustainability experts Lee, Gary, and Leo for ensuring we remain on target for continuing to deliver on this promise.”


New Hall Lane Travelodge, Preston

A prominent freehold hotel investment in Preston is to be sold at the Acuitus commercial property auction this month, with a guide price of more than £3.25m.

The Travelodge in Preston, situated on the A59, currently produces £231,081 per annum. The property consists of 72 rooms, a bar/restaurant plus secure under croft parking, and is let on a 25-year lease with options to extend until 2041 with the benefit of uncapped rent reviews linked to the Retail Price Index increasing the rent to a minimum of £292,420 pa in March 2026.

John Mehtab of Acuitus said: “The hotel sector is thriving again and the value operators are doing particularly well in the current climate. We have just sold the Travelodge in Newcastle, and we expect this Travelodge to generate significant investor interest.”

The Acuitus auction will take place on Thursday, July 13, at 2pm. It will be broadcast via livestream on the Acuitus website.


The DAM team and Dechlan and Chris McGoff

Downtown Asset Management (DAM), part of the Altrincham-based McGoff Group, has acquired a riverside office in Salford.

The new office, which is 1,700 sq ft and can house 12 individuals comfortably, was purchased, designed and fitted out by the group, signalling an investment of circa £400,000.

DAM was established in 2019 and over the course of the past four years has experienced much success, growing steadily year-on-year both in terms of securing new projects to service, manage and maintain, and expanding its talented team.

The new riverside office on Woden Street is well located on the banks of the River Irwell on the Salford/Manchester border and is spacious enough for further growth.

Strategically, the new office provides a convenient base for the DAM team to service Downtown Manchester, an established scheme of 374 apartments, which is situated beside it. It is also only a short distance from Downtown Victoria North, the group’s latest city centre residential development of 237 properties on Rochdale Road, which is currently under construction.

Paul Danks, managing director of Downtown Asset Management, said: “The launch of DAM’s riverside office is a significant moment for the group and a real testament to the amazing work of our team.”


General manager, Daniel Davis, and his team

The Corn Exchange in Manchester has been awarded a prestigious International Green Apple Beautiful Buildings Award, highlighting the city’s architectural brilliance and commitment to sustainable development. It recognises the positive contributions that buildings and structures have in our cities and how they enrich the lives of both residents and visitors.

The Beautiful Buildings Awards campaign is a worldwide initiative that celebrates outstanding architectural and design merits. The Corn Exchange stood out for its remarkable beauty in the heart of Manchester, demonstrating unwavering commitment from the management team to provide a building that delivers a world class customer experience.

The Corn Exchange was first built in 1837 and designed by Richard Lane, widely regarded at the time as Manchester’s most prominent architect. The structure underwent reconstruction at its present site and was completed in 1903, adopting the distinctive Edwardian architectural style with the involvement of several architects.

While this Grade II-listed building has an impressive façade, if you step inside its glass atrium you will also find an architectural feature that had a significant role to play in 19th century trade. The light illuminated the grain, allowing merchants to check the corn’s colour and quality. Light now fills the atrium, providing an amazing dining experience.

Daniel Davis, Corn Exchange general manager, said: “Winning this prestigious award is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of our team in preserving and showcasing the architectural splendor of the Corn Exchange.”


Square Gardens

Downing has agreed a deal with ESG technology specialist Utopi, as the property developer and operator outlines its commitment to sustainability.

The £400m development, Square Gardens in Manchester, will be the first co-living development in the city to benefit from the Utopi ESG technology, making it a landmark deal. Sensors will be installed in all 1,772 apartments, as well as in communal spaces and commercial units.

Also, PBSA developments The Mont in Edinburgh and Vega in Vauxhall will be part of the first cohort of Downing properties to benefit from Utopi. This is phase one of the roll-out with plans under way to expand into other assets nationwide.

Bay Downing, investment director at Downing, said: “Our residential developments are known for providing affordable, hassle-free living in sought after locations right across the UK, where residents can make the most of city centre living. Downing’s all-round service has come through years of consultation and collaboration with our tenants, ensuring they have the services and facilities they want and need.”

Jonathan Burridge, founder and CEO at Utopi, said: “Data-driven transformation is essential to reducing global carbon emissions and is key to future-proofing sustainable communities across the UK.”


New tenants and Arrive team

Arrive, Peel L&P’s flexible managed workspace at No. 10 Princes Dock in Liverpool, has reached 50% capacity, just one month after opening.

Arrive landed at Liverpool Waters in April, following on from its success at MediaCity in Salford. Since then, enquiries have been high and businesses have been quick to snap up suites.

The No.10 Princes Dock site provides more than 60 desks for start-ups and small to medium enterprises, as well as a boardroom, meeting rooms, a kitchen breakout area, and focus rooms where businesses can take a suite from four desks up to 12.

Occupiers also benefit from a wide range of events and activities at Arrive, from wellbeing classes and lunch and learn sessions, to net-walking and community catch ups, with the added flexibility of taking part in events or using meeting rooms at both MediaCity and Princes Dock.

Half of Arrive’s suites are now occupied with recent tenants including cloud service and IT support provider, IT Answers, who have taken two four-desk suites. Also moving in are multi-disciplinary construction consultancy, quantity surveyors and project managers, Walker Sime, who are due to move in to their two new suites at Arrive shortly. Walker Sime will occupy a six-desk suite and a 12-desk suite, which is the largest suite available at No. 10 Princes Dock.

Rebekah Lloyd-Beere, head of Arrive managed workspace, said: “Arrive has been incredibly popular since we opened at Princes Dock. Demand for flexible workspaces, where companies can quickly scale up and down, is currently really high and with the community feel and networking opportunities that this kind of workplace creates, it’s a great way for small businesses to connect and feel a part of the growing business community at Princes Dock.”

Liza Marco, senior asset manager at Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters, said: “We have received a huge number of enquiries about Arrive and it’s great to see the growing community of workers now based here.”


Carl Fogarty Way site

Dudleys Consulting Engineers has been appointed by Inceptum2 Management to help deliver the first phase of a new light industrial and trade counter development in Blackburn.

The 9,050 sq ft development forms part of a £13m gateway scheme on Carl Fogarty Way – named after the local Super Bike legend and King of the Jungle – a new link road from M65 junction six into the town centre.

Designed by KPP Architects, the project comprises one flexible building with mezzanine floor options, that could be let as a whole or subdivided into smaller units to support trade counter use, or existing/start-up enterprises looking for a high quality accessible location.

Dudleys originally provided feasibility advice on the project to support the planning application, taking this through to tender packaging and Dudleys is now working alongside main contractor C & AJ Marshall Builders to deliver the scheme.

The appointment follows Dudleys decision to open a new office in Prestwich due to its growing portfolio of work in the North West region. Peter Dixon, director at Dudleys, said: “We are pleased to secure this first phase project for such an important site that is allocated for significant employment potential. The proactive attitude of the local authority growth and development team has been greatly valued and we look forward to building that relationship as we grow further in the North West.”

Construction has now started on site with completion expected later this year. Strong interest has been reported from potential occupiers and Inceptum 2 Management is already looking at further investment opportunities in the area.

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