The acquisition aims to unlock the site for redevelopment. Credit: via Network Space.

Network Space adds to Openshaw holdings 

The developer has acquired a 2.8-acre chunk of LTE Group’s Manchester College site off Welcomb Street for an undisclosed sum. 

Network Space already held the long-leasehold over the Openshaw site and has now purchased three underleases held by LTE Group, which did not expire until 2095.

The former Manchester College site, accessed from the Ashton Old Road, currently comprises eight buildings of varying ages and sizes that were previously used as classrooms and workshops but are no longer required by the college. 

Network Space’s acquisition aims to unlock the site for redevelopment into a 70,000 sq ft multi-let industrial scheme. 

Subject to planning approval, work is due to start on site in the first half of 2023. 

The purchase sees Network Space grow its footprint in the area, adding to its interest in the neighbouring City Works Business Park. 

Joe Burnett, development director at Network Space Development commented: “We are delighted to have acquired this site which provides the opportunity to build on the success of our adjacent City Works scheme. 

“The site is very well located within Openshaw and in a sought-after area of Greater Manchester. It is ideal for both industrial and last-mile logistics uses with its excellent accessibility to a skilled local workforce as well as close proximity to Manchester City Centre.”

He added: “This latest acquisition aligns perfectly with our strategy for growing our industrial and logistics portfolio by targeting sites located in key urban areas with significant future growth potential.”  

LTE Group was represented by Cushman & Wakefield. 

The Manchester College operator is in the process of consolidating its disparate estate by disposing of some of its ageing assets and building several new facilities, including the £54m city centre campus on part of the former Boddington’s brewery site in Manchester.   

In addition to the city centre hub, LTE recently upgraded part of its Openshaw campus. This element of the site was not included in the Network Space transaction.

To date, LTE has sold sites in Moston, where housing association One Manchester is bringing forward 55 affordable homes, as well as its St John’s Campus on the edge of Spinningfields.   

The 39,000 sq ft St John’s building is earmarked for demolition by developer HBD, which is readying plans to redevelop the site into a £100m office complex.

Miller Homes acquired the 18-acre Manchester College site in Northenden last year.  

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