Oddfellows relocate to Abbey House

The Manchester Unity Friendly Society, known as the Oddfellows, has secured new head office premises at Abbey House on Booth Street.

The society, which will move just 150m from its current premises in 40 Fountain Street, has taken 10,000 sq ft on a new 10-year lease with a tenant's only break in the fifth year.

A headline rent of £19.50/sq ft was agreed with a rent-free period and a landlord's undertaking to carry out various refurbishment works both to the suite and the building as a whole.

The property, which is owned by Stephen Elias, is undergoing a substantial upgrade to its reception and common areas. The new first floor suite, formerly the Manchester headquarters of collapsed property consultancy, Erinaceous, will be completely overhauled by the landlord.

Christopher Dee undertook the search for both freehold and leasehold properties on behalf of the Oddfellows. LSH and WHR advised the landlord.

ING's failed attempted sale of 40 Fountain Street at the beginning of the year was the catalyst for the Oddfellows relocation. ING initiated a landlord's break when the sale of the freehold property had twice been aborted.

Chris Jones, of Christopher Dee, said: "Forty Fountain Street, Oddfellows House, was past it's 'sell by' date with little or no investment made into the building as it was being run down for redevelopment. When the landlord exercised their break asking The Oddfellows to vacate it gave us the chance to upgrade and take advantage of a carefully planned consolidation which means our clients are now paying less in overheads at their new grade A premises than they were in the old building."

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