Ashtrom’s £82m First Street buy confirmed

The Israeli investor has completed its acquisition of No.8 First Street in Manchester from the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund and investment manager Patrizia.

The pair sold the 170,000 sq ft city centre office scheme to Ashtrom Properties UK for £82m, according to a statement today.

The block in Manchester’s First Street regeneration district was developed by Ask Real Estate on behalf of the GMPVF and Patrizia. It completed in 2019, two years behind schedule as the result of delays including the collapse of Lakesmere, a subcontractor involved in cladding the building.

The six-storey property is occupied by office tenants including energy company Gazprom, multidisciplinary firm WSP, cinema operator Odeon, broker Willis Towers Watson and Swiss chemicals and biotechnology firm Lonza.

Each floor offers 26,500 sq ft of commercial space and is largely free of internal columns, which allows for more flexible layouts for occupiers. There is one 14,000 sq ft unit remaining to let.

The First Street purchase marks Ashtrom’s Manchester debut and only its second sizeable investment in the region, after it bought Liverpool’s Exchange Flags from Shelborn Asset Management for £68m in 2019.

Avison Young acted for the vendors in the deal and Commercial Properties and Burlington Green Partners acted on behalf of Ashtrom.

Ashtrom chief executive Guy Lewinsohn said: “The acquisition of No.8 is in line with our current strategy of investing in regional cities. We are thrilled to add this well-connected, prime office development surrounded by brilliant amenities to our portfolio.”

And David Winterbottom, principal in the capital markets team at Avison Young, acted: “The deal with Ashtrom Properties at No.8 First Street represents the firm’s first investment into the Manchester office market, demonstrating that despite the recent challenges, there is still great confidence in the city as it begins to emerge from the pandemic and takes steps towards recovery.”

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