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Commercial Property Register

September - December 2017

One interesting aspect of the economy in the North West is the

strength of retailing in some towns and cities.

An example of this is research from Savills that estimated Manchester

has the potential for nearly 13,935 sq metres (150,000 aq ft) of extra

out-of-town fashion retail space to add to the existing 40,221 sq metres

(432,948 sq ft) dedicated to the sector.

With 1.3 million shoppers, the city is attractive to retailers such as Paul

Smith who has opened a new store in New Cathedral Street, a scheme

owned by a joint venture of M&G Real Estate and intu.

The investment market for shopping centres remains healthy and

MCR Property Group has bought the 15,143 sq metres (163,000 sq ft)

Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre in Rochdale for an undisclosed sum. It

adjoins the £100 million Rochdale Riverside Shopping Centre.

Chris Taylor of MCR said: “The purchase comes ahead of a significant

shift in the retail landscape within Rochdale town centre.”

Meanwhile, Land Securities is offering the 16,351 sq metres (176,000

sq ft) Greyhound Retail Park in Chester for sale with an asking price of

£64 million and a yield of 6.7%. The park is anchored by a John Lewis

store and is on a 16-acre freehold site with a similar amount of land

available for development. It is being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield.

The growing market for flexible office space has drawn

WeWork to a new operation in Manchester, its first move

outside London.

It has taken a 5,574 sq metres (60,000 sq ft) co-working

centre in Allied London’s soon to be completed 1

Spinningfields, a 27,870 sq metres (300,000 sq ft) scheme,

which is the tallest office building in the city.

What has attracted the US company is the growing

media and technology sectors in the city.

It will join the law firm Weightmans, which is taking

1,672 sq metres (18,000 sq ft) in the complex, bringing

together its staff from two other offices and promising to

pioneer new ways of working and technology.

Rob Yates of Cushman & Wakefield, who advise

Weightmans, said: “Weightmans realised that the supply

and demand dynamics of the Manchester market presented

challenges due to the shortage of high quality opportuni-

ties.” He added that they moved quickly to take the space.

Always tuned to market changes, Northern Trust has

made flexibility the watchword of its refurbishment of

Beehive, Shadworth, Blackburn.

The refurbishment has brought a range of high quality

office space and its agent, Whittle Jones, has pulled

instream a flow of new occupiers. Phil Hume of Whittle

Jones said: “The refurbishment has seen the creation of a

break out area, meeting room, 24 hour CCTV and a new

reception area. We have secured letting for half of the new

office suites.”

The Beehive is close to the entrance to Shadworth

Business Park, a short distance from the M65 and two miles

from the centre of Blackburn.

M-SParc, Wales’ first dedicated Science Park, is on course to open its doors in early


The build on the £20m project on Anglesey is progressing within time and budget.

M-SParc offers 2,900m2 of lettable space configured as 45 office spaces ranging from

14.5m2-250m2 (two person to 30/35 person offices), 23 laboratories for between three

and eight researchers and two 140m2 double-height workshops.

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Director of M-SParc, said: “M-SParc’s vision is to drive

knowledge-based science linked to research expertise. This will be achieved by

stimulating an entrepreneurial culture linking innovation in key sectors such as low

carbon energy, the environment and ICT. We hope to develop an area of innovation in

North West Wales with the science park being a catalyst for innovative ideas in the region.

“M-SParc is directly adjacent to Junction 7 of the A55 so we are especially accessible

for companies from across the North Wales and North West regions.

“We aim to cater for the brightest and the best companies. The most important

criterion for us is that companies are innovative and are looking to bring a new product

or system to market. In return we offer highly competitive rates, excellent connectivity

through two fibre cables and dedicated business support.

Neil Rowlands, Chair of Anglesey Enterprise Zone Advisory Board, said: “It is truly

exciting to see M-SParc progressing as it is. The vision for Anglesey Enterprise Zone is

to create a world-renowned centre of excellence for the production, demonstration and

servicing of low carbon energy. The opening of M-SParc will contribute enormously to

this vision.








Image by: FaulknerBrowns Architects