Bruntwood has announced plans to redevelop the 15-storey former Arthur Andersen office on the corner of Portland and Charlotte Streets in Manchester city centre.
Neo will be a “bold, forward-thinking and collaborative workspace”. Work has started on site to produce 52,000 sq ft of office space aimed at meeting “urging demand for innovative workspace in the UK.”
The site was prelet almost in its entirety to accountant Arthur Andersen 20 years ago. Arthur Andersen was later acquired by Deloitte in the early 2000s and Bank House was vacated. Bruntwood has only in recent months agreed a surrender with Deloitte to enable refurbishment to take place.
Bruntwood added that “the scheme is designed to reflect the impact of new technologies on the changing nature of work. It will also facilitate an increasingly collaborative way of working for Bruntwood customers.”
Designed by Bridge Architects, the scheme will house shared working spaces, event spaces, private studios, a communal lounge and kitchen, a roof terrace and a digital art space on the ground floor. The upper floors will feature open-plan office layouts with panoramic views across the city.
Neo will be aimed at creative, media and digital industries. Colin Sinclair, director of workspace development at Bruntwood, said there was significant prelet interest but the company wanted to attract the right creative and tech occupiers to make the project work best. The location straddles Piccadilly and the Village on one side and Chinatown and the traditional core on the other.
Chris Oglesby, chief executive at Bruntwood, said: “Neo marks a new phase in workspace evolution for Bruntwood, embracing the ever-changing nature of business culture and connectivity.
“With neo we have the chance to nurture new and ambitious start-ups. We see the building as a cultural, collaborative flagship; utilising new technologies in a creative way to reflect the diverse needs of our customers.
“The roof terrace, with its weather-proof meeting pod, the lounge, the open-plan kitchen, the coworking space and the digital art space will provide the perfect platform for a social network at Neo, putting businesses of all sizes on an equal footing and fostering innovation in the workplace for all.”
Neo is due for completion at the end of 2016. The construction contract is out to tender.