Express refurb gathers pace

Landlord PJD Group has completed the first part of a £5.7m refurbishment of 40,000 sq ft of offices off George Leigh Street in Ancoats, with attention now turning to the second phase. 

Previously known as Express Networks, the One Express and Two Express buildings are located behind another developer Wittington Investments’ recently refurbished Express Building on Great Ancoats Street, which completed last November. 

The first phase of PJD Group’s project, the refurbishment of Two Express, cost £2.2m and has now been completed, with the project led by Chorlton-based contractor Urbanise.

Work included the remodelling of the reception and ground floor entrance, and an upgrade of the 14,000 sq ft office. 

Technology firm CTI Digital signed a 10-year lease on the office space earlier this year. 

The second part of the refurbishment programme, also being undertaken by Urbanise, involves work to update 25,000 sq ft of offices across three floors at One Express, and will cost £3.5m. 

The ground floor will also be overhauled and is earmarked for flexible workspace with meeting rooms, break-out areas and a coffee shop with outdoor seating. 

There will be a reception area and 2,000 sq ft gym, and the building will also feature smart technology intended to enhance the tenant experience, according to the developer. 

Architect and interior designer Stephenson Studio designed the fit-outs of both buildings. 

PJD Group bought the pair of buildings in 2017 and expects work to upgrade One Express to complete next spring. 

Mark Davies, owner of PJD Group said: “It is well documented that Ancoats is the next area of commercial growth, particularly in the technology sector, and the quality of refurbishment helped us attract the largest single occupier in the area. 

“Our vision for One Express is to create a communal hub to facilitate tenants from start-ups to more established businesses. It is apparent that occupiers’ expectations have increased, and we intend to provide space that is attractive to tenants through the overall experience they get in the space, from flexibility of use, to health and well-being benefits.” 

IN4M is the project manager for both projects and OBI is the letting agent. 

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