Flexible working space firm launches first UK venture in city centre

100 Barbirolli Square

London-based Koba, a new flexible workspace company, is launching its first UK venture at 100 Barbirolli Square in Manchester.

It has agreed a partnership lease on a 10-year term with AEW to design, fit-out and operate its inaugural circa 30,000 sq ft location at the flagship 100 Barbirolli Square office building in Manchester city centre.

The new flex site, to be known as Koba @ 100 Barbirolli Square, will operate on Levels 0 and 1 within the 200,000 sq ft, 10-storey Grade A office building whose transformational £30m investment programme has attracted occupiers including Brabners, Freeths and Stantec.

The deal marks Koba’s entrance into the flex market following its formation in 2023.

Spearheaded by Paul Nellist, Rob Stewart, James Thorne and Tom Beard, Koba said it creates sustainable workspaces based on evidence and not greenwash. The team is set to announce its second location in the coming weeks.

At 100 Barbirolli Square, Koba will take the vacant space and transform it into a dynamic new centre with a host of meeting rooms and spaces for businesses of all sizes. The offering will range from a blend of private office suites that can accommodate companies wanting between 20-200 desks to four-to-six person studios and one-person co-working desks.

Works are set to commence on site in the coming weeks with the launch scheduled for early Q4 2024.

Koba managing director, Paul Nellist, said: “It was incredibly important to mark the start of Koba’s journey with a venture that enables us to implement our sustainability manifesto and demonstrate that we can create premium workspaces that are demonstrably better for people and the planet.

“Having worked closely with our partners to devise a design framework that focuses on the circular economy, we are excited that our vision will be realised at 100 Barbirolli Square.”

Koba was self-represented in the transaction with OBI acting for the landlord.

The landlord’s joint agents on 100 Barbirolli Square are OBI and Savills.

On behalf of the landlord, Andrew Cowell, of OBI, said: “Koba’s premium and sustainable offering will deliver a new type of flexible workspace and is set to generate a huge amount of interest in Manchester.

“Koba @ 100 Barbirolli Square will add immense value to the scheme and is an important part of the ongoing activation of the building as it will enhance the amenities available to current and future tenants. Interest in the remaining space at 100 Barbirolli Square is high and we are confident that the building will be fully let by the end of the year.”

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