Auto Trader to ramp up First Street presence

The online car dealership is to relocate to the next phase of developer Ask Real Estate’s office scheme in Manchester city centre, agreeing to take 80,000 sq ft of the proposed new build block approved this year.

Auto Trader Group already occupies 60,000 sq ft of No 1 First Street on a 15-year lease, after deciding to consolidate its seven North West sites and move 600 staff to Manchester in 2015.

However, the company has a lease break in 2024 and wants to expand its presence in the city by relocating to a larger space in the 400,000 sq ft office building that forms the next phase of development at First Street. The pre-let deal is understood to be Manchester’s biggest letting of 2020.

Manchester City Council approved Ask’s plans in April for the 11-storey block containing 270,000 ft of office space and 11,700 sq ft of retail space on the ground floor.

The building, which will occupy a two-acre site off Medlock Street once complete, has been designed by Jon Matthews Architects and is being delivered by main contractor Bam Construction.

The project team also includes project manager Chroma Consulting, Deloitte as planning consultant, Gardiner and Theobald as cost consultant, Ramboll as structural engineer and Planit-ie as landscape architect.

Cundall is the M+E engineer and sound engineer, Design Fire Consultants is fire engineers while Vectos is the transport consultant, with Penny Anderson Associates as ecologists.

First Street is split into four development zones: First Street North, First Street Central, First Street South and First Street Creative Ribbon. The latest scheme falls within the First Street Central zone, which itself is split into four distinctive plots. This project will cover plots 9a and 9b.

The proposals for this scheme have been altered over the last two years with approval first granted in 2018 for a 17-storey building with 160,000 sq ft of office space and a 200-bedroom Premier Inn hotel on the upper floors.

Auto Trader has been contacted by Place North West, and Ask declined to comment.



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