Arkwright House refurb approved

Catalyst Capital, the European real estate investment and asset management firm, has secured planning consent to refurbish and extend Arkwright House in Manchester to deliver 105,000 sq ft of offices.

Arkwright House is a grade 2-listed building in Parsonage Gardens off Deansgate, designed in a neo-classical style by local architect Harry S Fairhurst, for the English Sewing Cotton Company and completed in 1937. The property is made up of eight floors, totaling 86,970 sq ft.

Catalyst bought the office in May 2014 for £11m from receivers, after former owner Wrather Group defaulted on a loan against the property.

Sheppard Robson has designed the refurbishment.

Catalyst Capital will extend the first-to-sixth floors of Arkwright House, by infilling the three rear light wells, which will be extensively glazed to maximise natural light and deliver a finish that is respectful of the listed building.

New office accommodation will be created at the seventh floor level to create an open-plan office suite, comprising 7,000 sq ft with panoramic views to the south. The ground-floor lobbies will be altered and returned to their original form, providing open space with views directly into Parsonage Gardens. The basement will be updated with an improved parking layout and the addition of facilities for cyclists, including eight showers.

The building is understood to be largely vacant.

The transformation of Arkwright House follows similar projects by Catalyst in Manchester at Ship Canal House and 26 Cross Street.

Giles Hall, portfolio manager at Catalyst Capital said: "The brief was for a full and sympathetic refurbishment and improvement of the existing office accommodation to deliver regular-shaped, flexible floorplates. The project will provide a modern air-conditioned office environment within a beautiful historic structure overlooking a garden square. It matches new buildings in terms of performance, but is priced at a lower rent."

Construction is expected to begin the second quarter of this year, with completion in 2016. Deloitte Real Estate acted as planning consultant for Catalyst.

GVA and CBRE are joint leasing agents.

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