Law firm Eversheds Sutherland has chosen Two New Bailey Square as the location for its 45,000 sq ft Manchester office requirement when it leaves Great Bridgewater Street next year.
Place North West understands that the English Cities Fund scheme triumphed from a final shortlist that also included 125 Deansgate and Landmark. Earlier in the process, Windmill Green and Eleven York Street had also been in contention.
It is the first major deal at the 188,000 sq ft Two New Bailey on the edge of Salford, which has Cushman & Wakefield and JLL as joint agents. Eversheds, which is understood to have taken around 45,000 sq ft, was advised by OBI Property. All parties declined to comment.
In March, Aviva agreed a £113m forward-funding deal for Two New Bailey. The building is to offer 18,000 sq ft floorplates and is to be delivered by Bowmer & Kirkland.
Although the deal will send Manchester’s city centre take-up for the year close to 500,000 sq ft, there are concerns among some brokers that despite oft-quoted lack of grade A supply, rents aren’t being pushed upwards by the blue-chip professional services occupiers. The higher-end rent in Manchester currently sits at around £35/sq ft.
A Manchester agent told Place North West: “The Eversheds deal is obviously good news, but it might be worrying for those developers that now have grade A schemes on site that rents aren’t moving on.
“None of the Big Four have requirements and there aren’t many law firms left in the market. The busiest part of the market is tech, and those aren’t the occupiers that will pay top level rents. This could test the true depth of the Manchester market.”
While the buildings outlined above would all hope to contend for record-level rents, the city is likely to see high-quality refurbishments compete for occupiers – RBS will vacate One Spinningfields Square at the end of the year, while Bruntwood’s Union is among those in central areas that have been redeveloped.