Commercial Property Register
September - December 2017www.compropregister.com
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
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
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
Image by: FaulknerBrowns Architects