Catalyst Capital has finished the £16m refurbishment of listed Arkwright House in Manchester’s Parsonage Gardens, with the first letting close to being agreed at the 98,500 sq ft office.
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The listed façade was retained and internal floors, of 15,000 sq ft, opened up, new mechanical and electrical systems installed and a seventh-floor penthouse office suite of 76,000 sq ft added on the roof. The project team members were architect Sheppard Robson, contractor Vinci and project manager Gardiner & Theobald.
One floor is under offer and another occupier is close to agreeing a deal on two floors. Quoting rents range from £26/sq ft on the ground floor to £30/sq ft on the seventh floor. Arkwright House was commissioned in 1929 for the English Sewing & Cotton Company in a design by local architect Harry S Fairhurst. The building opened in 1937.
Catalyst bought the building from receivers in May 2014 for £11m, after former owner Wrather Group defaulted on a loan against the property.
Giles Hall, portfolio manager of Catalyst Capital, said: “Arkwright House is an important part of Manchester’s heritage that merits careful stewardship. Having acquired the building in 2014, we appointed a highly experienced and regarded professional team to set about transforming the third major historic office renovation that we have undertaken in Manchester city centre in recent years.”
The other two refurbishment projects were at Ship Canal House, since sold, and 26 Cross Street.
Hall added: “We are, I hope justifiably, proud of the finished product; it combines the best of modern building technology, offering effectively new open plan space suitable for all types of occupier, combined with beautiful heritage features which cannot be recreated in a new building. The quality of the accommodation is testament to the skill and hard work of the design team and every single contractor that worked with Vinci on the project. We have no doubt that it will appeal to the most discerning of Manchester’s office users.’
Neil Mort director and head of North West Office Leasing at CBRE in Manchester stated: “Arkwright House offers an occupier the perfect opportunity to acquire modernised office space in a renowned Grade 2 listed building, overlooking Parsonage Gardens, which is one of Manchester’s very limited number of green spaces. With the recent upsurge in Manchester City Centre office take-up, Arkwright House arrives at a time to satisfy this pent-up demand. Initial interest in the building is strong, with an announcement on the first letting expected soon.”
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