Merchant Exchange Manchester p Edwards Co

The six-storey property sits opposite the 17-acre First Street mixed-use district. Credit: via Edwards & Co

Aviva sells Merchant Exchange

A private family trust has acquired the 26,000 sq ft office building on Manchester’s Whitworth Street West for an undisclosed sum.

The six-storey Merchant Exchange sits opposite the 17-acre First Street mixed-use district and HOME Theatre, adjacent to the Manchester Central convention centre, and backs onto the Rochdale Canal.

The period building offers 25,821 sq ft of commercial space, which is currently multi-let to a variety of tenants including music institute BIMM, engineering firm Curtins, building surveyor Gardiner & Theobold, and professional development provider Ambition.

The property has two vacant floors totalling 8,204 sq ft – “providing for a rolling refurbishment opportunity, to move rents forward”, noted consultancy Knight Frank, which acted for the seller in the deal.

Fletcher King represented the buyer, which prefers not to disclose its identity. The final sales price was also not disclosed, but the asking price was £7.25m. The letting agent for Merchant Exchange is Edwards & Co.

Paul Andrews, managing director and head of asset management at Fletcher King, said: “We are delighted to acquire this investment for a long-standing family trust client in this iconic location in Manchester and look forward to developing the asset to provide exceptional space for our tenants.”

Knight Frank partner Craig Barton, who represented Aviva, added: “Merchant Exchange is a popular office, in a good location and ordinarily our client would have liked to have held onto it, given their belief in and commitment to the city of Manchester.

“However, the office is on the small side given Aviva’s large-scale investments elsewhere in Manchester and we are delighted to transact the opportunity to an investor who also believes in Merchant Exchange, and we wish them well taking the building.”

Merchant Exchange Manchester interior p Edwards Co

The property is let to engineering firm Curtins and building surveyor Gardiner & Theobold, among others. Credit: via Edwards & Co

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