Liberty/RREEF complete £19m HQ Chester sale

Partners RREEF Real Estate and Liberty Properties have sold 82,000 sq ft of office space at the HQ development in Chester to Cheshire West & Chester Council.

Cheshire West & Chester have taken the entire office element of the new mixed-use building that was recently completed on the site of the former police headquarters and overlooking The Roodee racecourse.

The £50m development also contains 34 apartments, a four-star 80-bed Abode Hotel and fine dining including a Michelin-starred Michael Caines restaurant built around a large central courtyard.

The local authority in the west occupies 20 offices and wants to reduce this figure by half. Cheshire West & Chester last week confirmed a deal to sell its County Hall offices nearby to Chester University for £10m.

The council estimates that the move to HQ will save council taxpayers £4m across Cheshire over the next five years in running costs and business rates.

The 82,000 sq ft of office space will now be fitted out with around 800 council staff expected to transfer across to the building in April, just after the opening of Abode, which is currently being fitted out.

RREEF Real Estate, on behalf of its RREEF UK Property Ventures Fund 3, purchased the site from Liberty Properties in 2006. It is the largest office development to be completed in Chester for 15 years. RREEF is the real estate division of Deutsche Bank.

James Petit of RREEF said: "It is fantastic to have found an occupier within such a short time of finishing construction which is testament to the superb quality and undoubted location of the property."

Paul Norman, director of Liberty Properties, said: "The sale means the £50m mixed-use HQ development is now fully let which is great news given the fact that we've been continuing with the project during the most difficult economic crisis since the 1930's. It is a well-populated site which will be a flagship scheme for Chester.

"We are delighted to be in a position to say that we have succeeded in completing a very ambitious development and filling it, in a very challenging environment, with businesses such as Abode Hotel which will bring real and tangible benefits to Chester. Apart from just a handful of apartments, HQ if now fully occupied and we are confident it won't be long before they are snapped up."

The agents for HQ were Savills in Manchester and Legat Owen in Chester. The council advised itself.

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Congratulations on a job well done. p s when are the next races at Roodee

By Jeep

Cracking Scheme, credit to developer / builder, great addition to Chester.

By Anonymous