The developer is understood to be planning the closure of its Manchester office, after exiting the joint venture behind the £1bn Airport City redevelopment, and withdrawing from the competition for the £550m Mayfield Quarter project.
There are six members of staff in Manchester, including head of office, senior projects director Ruairidh Jackson. The team have entered a consultation period, to see if they will be made redundant or can apply for jobs in Argent’s Birmingham or London offices.
Argent was dominant on several projects in Manchester city centre during the last development cycle, including Piccadilly Place, in a joint venture with Carlyle Group, and the 80,000 sq ft Hive, in the Northern Quarter. In 2014 it completed the 270,000 sq ft office One St Peter’s Square in partnership with Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund, and the property is currently under offer to Deka Immobilien.
In March 2015, Argent agreed a funding deal with US private-rented sector giant Related Companies on all UK projects, to pursue “projects of scale in London and the UK”.
In February, Argent withdrew from the joint venture delivering the £1bn Airport City Manchester project, it said after losing its advisory position as principal development manager, due to the emergence of in-house roles. Argent was appointed as a consultant on the scheme by Manchester Airports Group in 2013.
Last month, the developer dropped out of the competition to build the £550m Mayfield Quarter near Manchester’s Piccadilly station. Since the 24-acre project was first mooted in 2012, many in the development industry saw Argent as the likely winner, due to the prominence of its buildings around the nearby Piccadilly Gardens, and its experience of transport-based regeneration schemes shown at King’s Cross Station in London.
Argent declined to comment on the closure of the Manchester office.