The Warrington and environs office market recorded a total take-up of 439,000 sq ft in 2014, 11% up on the year before, according to Manchester Office Agents Forum. There were 102 transactions, a 16% uplift in the number of transactions compared to 2013.
The most significant transactions in 2014 were the HQ office lettings to New Balance, 30,600 sq ft at Birchwood Point, Ombudsman Services' 54,000 sq ft at 3300 Daresbury Park and the nuclear engineering joint venture AMA taking 51,700 sq ft at Allday House in Birchwood.
Simon Roddam, associate director of Warrington property consultancy BE Group, and spokesman for this MOAF report, said: "Following a strong year, it may have been projected that 2014 would be a more modest year in terms of the larger occupier movements which we saw in 2013. This wasn't the case with almost 137,000 sq ft of office take-up delivered via 3 HQ lettings."
Roddam added: "Due to the absence of new office development of recent, we have seen more speculative refurbishments of secondary buildings in 2014. The likes of 401 Faraday Street at Birchwood Park has, amongst others, attracted occupiers URS and Hyder Consulting. Both occupiers are taking a combined total of 33,000 sq ft at 401 Faraday Street, timed well with the completion of the building's £4m refurbishment project. Allday House in Birchwood is another good example, where Pin Property refurbished the 50,000 sq ft building, which attracted AMA to sign in December. A strong finish to 2014 indeed."
Leasehold transactions accounted for 85% of the overall take up in 2014, however a good level of owner occupier demand was sustained with 15 freehold transactions recorded in total.
The MOAF exists to promote better knowledge of the Manchester city region office market providing accurate market statistics and informed market commentary. Formed in 2009, its current members include CBRE, Canning O'Neill, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, DTZ, Edwards & Co, GVA, Jones Lang LaSalle, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Matthews & Goodman, OBI Property, P3 Property Consultants, Savills, TSG Property Consultants, WHR and BE Group.