An unnamed occupier believed to be a Government department has instructed Bilfinger GVA to identify sites for up to 500,000 sq ft of offices in Liverpool or Manchester city centres.
The search is part of a nationwide instruction involving several Bilfinger GVA offices.
David Thwaites and Ian Steele in the Manchester office of Bilfinger GVA have issued circulars to agents for three options:
250,000 sq ft to 300,000 sq ft in Manchester city centre and immediately surrounding areas with good public transport links
180,000 sq ft to 230,000 sq ft in Liverpool city centre and immediate surrounding areas including out-of-town options within Merseyside within close proximity to a major public transport hub
450,000 sq ft to 500,000 sq ft in Liverpool or Manchester city centres
All are for a leasehold deal to occupy Grade A space in existing buildings, buildings currently under construction or new developments.
The unusually large requirement could be satisfied in Manchester at Ask's Embankment and First Street schemes, English Cities Fund's New Bailey, the Co-operative Group and Hermes' NOMA, on several unused parcels of land in Salford Quays and Carlyle's Soapworks, also in Salford. In Liverpool, Peel's Liverpool Waters and the surface car park on Pall Mall behind Old Hall Street are likely contenders.
The Mayfield area around Manchester Piccadilly has in the past been linked with public sector relocation from London but is now under review while details of the size and shape of the new HS2 station are awaited.
Bilfinger GVA will submit its report with a shortlist of sites next week. Agents have until Monday 20 April to submit their clients' proposals.