Indemnity House snapped up for £1.65m

Manchester’s Indemnity House, the former base of the YMCA, has sold by private individuals for £1.65m.

The 5,301 sq ft building in Manchester city centre was constructed in 1910 and last occupied by the YMCA for around 15 years, until its lease expired in April. It has been sold with vacant possession, and the purchaser intends to re-fit the interiors, which comprise offices and training rooms, and occupy the building itself.

WT Gunson, which sold the building to an undisclosed London-based investor-developer, has been marketing the property for the past few months. Neale Sayle, partner and head of agency at the firm, said: “This was a unique opportunity to purchase a rare freehold property in the heart of the city centre.

“We had a large amount of interest ranging from investors, developers and occupiers and sold following inviting best offers. This shows the continued strength in the Manchester city centre market for freehold opportunities despite economic uncertainty.”

Indemnity House occupies an island site on the corner of Chatham Street and Roby Street, close to Manchester Piccadilly station and adjacent to the Waldorf pub and the grade two-listed former Union Bank building, which was acquired by Japanese hotel operator Toyoko Inn in 2014.

Toyoko Inn plans to redevelop that building, which has been vacant since 2006, into a 23-storey, 354-bedroom hotel, which would be its first in the UK. Architecture firm Stephenson Studio put forward revised plans for the hotel in October.

The Indemnity House site is also bordered by a car park. First used by Manchester & Salford Boy’s & Girl’s Refuges & Homes Society to accommodate children rescued from hardship, the society stopped using the building as a shelter in 1920 and instead transferred its administrative headquarters into the building for the next 17 years.

Insurance broker Bridge Insurance later moved into the building in 1982 and vacated in 2003 when it opened a new location on Charlotte Street.

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