The £10m modernisation of the 434,000 sq ft Exchange Quay office complex in Salford Quays has begun after Salford City Council approved plans by Hunter Real Estate Investment Managers.
Hunter submitted a planning application in April to refurbish 400,000 sq ft over six buildings with new entrances, reception and common areas, lifts and facilities.
The plans included a 5,000 sq ft restaurant, a convenience store with Post Office facility, a management suite, a 5,000 sq ft gym and a landscaped public realm.
Contractor ISG is on site at the first office building to be refurbished, the 116,000 sq ft Number 8.
Hunter purchased the development from a Channel Islands-based trust in November 2013 on behalf of an American institutional client. The value of the sale was not disclosed but it was understood that the price paid was between £20m and £30m, far short of the £80m valuation placed on Exchange Quay before the property crash. The £10m refurbishment was agreed as part of the deal.
Work on the public realm and leisure facilities will begin in the autumn.
The scheme is expected to complete in spring 2015.
Iain Leheny, fund manager at Hunter, said: "It is fantastic news that our proposals for Exchange Quay have been given the green light and now our plans will start to be brought to life. We are excited about being able to demonstrate to the market the high quality of accommodation and brand new environment we are creating and we are looking forward to showcasing the offices."
Exchange Quay's six office buildings range from 26,151 sq ft to 116,684 sq ft. The development is strategically located off Trafford Road.
AA Projects is the project manager. Keppie Design Manchester is the architect.