The refurbished Churchgate House reception by Bluu was opened by Sir Howard Bernstein last year

Countrywide commits to Churchgate & Lee

Following Helical Bar's acquisition of the Churchgate & Lee buildings on Oxford Street in March, existing tenant Countrywide has committed to 24,578 sq ft in the building for a further seven years.

CBRE and OBI acted for Helical Bar and Countrywide was unrepresented.

Churchgate & Lee House provide a combined 250,000 sq ft of office accommodation with available suites ranging from 5,000 sq ft up to 20,000 sq ft. The redesign by Space Invader of Churchgate's reception, which links through to the courtyard and offers meeting and breakout space, was launched earlier this month by Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein.

Estate agency and property services group, Countrywide, is the second tenant to commit to the property in recent weeks following the signing of a 10-year lease for another 11,000 sq ft by Economic Solutions.

Helical Bar acquired Churchgate & Lee House in March for £34m from a joint venture between Angelo Gordon and Dunedin Property, which acquired the properties in 2012 for a reported £23m. The off-market deal reflected a net initial yield of 5.7%.

Alex Russell, director of office agency at CBRE's Manchester office, said: "The financial commitment that Helical Bar has made to Manchester, and in particular Churchgate & Lee, highlights the significant increase in occupier and investor demand in the city making it the number one choice outside of London. The buildings offer some of the largest floor-plates within the city centre and the new reception has resulted in a flurry of activity."

The works have been project managed by Savills and delivered by office fit-out specialist Bluu. CBRE provided M&E consultancy. Ralph Capper Interiors supplied the furniture.

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‘ Countrywide were unrepresented ‘ Is this the same Countrywide who recently bought Lambert Smith Hampton???

By Lee House