The developer has exchanged contracts to buy the 48,000 sq ft office block in Old Trafford from Manchester-based Bruntwood for an as yet undisclosed sum, and intends to convert the building into 115 apartments, expanding a previous consent.
The off-market sale is expected to complete by the end of the year and Investar Property Group aims to start construction work in the first quarter of 2021, according to chief executive Michael Dong.
Developer Mandale Homes previously had consent under permitted development rights for an office-to-residential scheme converting the nine-storey Paragon House into 88 apartments.
However, Investar drew up alternative plans for the building and secured approval from Trafford Council at the end of July for a larger scheme with 115 apartments. It has now exchanged contracts to acquire the property from Bruntwood.
Paragon House is located at 48 Seymour Grove in Old Trafford, close to Trafford Bar metrolink. It currently provides office space ranging from 400 sq ft units to entire floors of 6,040 sq ft.
Dong told Place North West that Investar’s planned scheme has the potential to include an additional six units across the ground floor and penthouse of the building. This would require an additional planning application.
The architect and planner for the scheme is Leeds-based Headoffice3. Investar has also received legal support from Gorvins Solicitors, and consultancy from Rider Levett Bucknall.
Dong said: “Paragon House is perfectly located to achieve our mission of delivering 10,000 homes in the next 10 years. This is our second scheme this year in Trafford following our planned 149-unit Botanical Gardens on Talbot Road, and shows our continued commitment to the area.
“It is our first project working with Bruntwood, and we are excited about the opportunity.”
Geoff Willis, Investar’s investment director, added: “We are keen to support local authorities’ plans for provision of good quality homes.
“We intend to deliver a quality scheme that raises the bar for office-to-residential conversions. Our objective is to address the market and provide amenities that meet the needs of the post-Covid world.”
Paragon House is managed by Bruntwood’s offices arm, Bruntwood Works, whose asset management director Pete Bearpark said: “We’re pleased to have agreed to a sale for Paragon House, which will be reborn as a residential development to help grow the vibrant neighbourhood in this corner of Old Trafford.
“Over the past few months, we’ve worked with the building’s existing customers to find alternative spaces and are pleased to have found new homes for the majority at other sites within the Bruntwood Works family.”
Bearpark added: “We continue to rebalance our Greater Manchester portfolio so that we can focus on assets that can support spaces which encourage interaction and create communities.”
Investar is working on other schemes across Greater Manchester, including the redevelopment of the former Stockport College into a £65m mixed-use scheme called Royal George Village.