Allied London has confirmed its acquisition of Astley & Byrom House on Quay Street, and said the blocks would be “brought back to life” as part of the developer’s Enterprise City cluster of workspaces aimed at digital, technology and creative industries.
The sale was first tipped by Place North West in July. Allied London has been pursuing ownership of the properties for a number of years, due to the strategic location opposite the recently completed No.1 Spinningfields, and borders the St John’s regeneration area which Allied London is bringing forward with Manchester City Council.
The vendor was West Midlands Pension Fund, advised by CBRE Global Investors. In 2015 the pension fund gained planning permission for a 270,000 sq ft redevelopment of the site, which was never progressed.
Michael Ingall, chief executive of Allied London, said: “The launch of Enterprise City has been hugely successful – so much so that we need to expand both the size and range of the offer. Our ambition is to have over 10,000 people working here in three years’ time. Astley & Byrom House makes a great addition for Enterprise City, as many new tech-enabled companies are being inspired by the brand of the place we are creating and are looking to be a part of what is going to become Manchester’s creative, tech and digital cluster.
“In the short to medium term we will be adopting a creative and positive approach to our new acquisition whilst enhancing the use of the building for modern day requirements. Longer term, the site offers a great development opportunity, but the timing and type of any speculative redevelopment needs to be judged with careful consideration.
“Our priority is to bring a commercially attractive collection of buildings back to life, and we have some great ideas for how to do that. I have no doubt they will prove popular to the new industries wanting to locate in Enterprise City.”