City office demand races past total for 2009

Manchester city centre has seen take-up of 700,719 sq ft for Q3 2010 according to figures released by the Manchester Office Agents Forum.

Total take-up for 2010 to the end of Q3 is in excess of 1m sq ft, 28% ahead of last year's total for the full year and nearly 10% ahead of the average annual take-up for the last five years. The final total for 2010 is likely to be in excess of 1.3m sq ft.

The main transaction in the city was the commencement of construction of the 328,000 sq ft HQ for the Co-operative Group on Miller Street. Other significant transactions included a letting to Marsh of 39,482 sq ft at Belvedere, taking 35,372 sq ft at The Peninsula and Co-operative Financial Services signing a lease for 31,178 sq ft in Arndale House.

Andrew Timms of Edwards & Co, spokesman for the forum, commented: "The performance of the market, particularly in Manchester city centre is extraordinary given the backdrop of the Economic Recession and a fairly consistent fall in take-up across all the other regional cities. To achieve record take-up levels in the circumstances is a genuine good news story. It has also encouraged an increase in the headline rent for prime Grade A and a reduction in the level of tenants' incentives."

The performance reinforcing the view that there is an urgent need for the construction of new speculative Grade A developments to ensure that the city continues to build upon its success.

South Manchester has also fared reasonably well during 2010 with take-up for Q3 totaling 106,806 sq ft giving a total of 413,648 sq ft to the end of Q3, a favourable comparison to the total for 2009 of 460,775 sq ft. There were however only two transactions over 10,000 sq ft: a letting at Innovation House, Wythenshawe of 28,000 sq ft to Gen-Probe Life Sciences and at Hercules Business Park, WNS signed up for 10,808 sq ft.

Formed in 2009 the forum's current members include CBRE, Canning O'Neill, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, DTZ, Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Edwards & Co, GVA Grimley, Jones Lang LaSalle, King Sturge, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton.

Quarter 3 2010 Office Take-up Statistics



Size (Sq Ft)


Size (Sq Ft)


Size (Sq Ft)


Total to date

Manchester City Centre





South Manchester





Old Trafford





Salford Quays





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