Express Networks

PJD adds to refurb pipeline with office purchases

Philip J Davies Holdings has completed two off-market purchases, acquiring Express Networks in Ancoats, and 19b Quay Street on the edge of Spinningfields.

Express Networks is made up of two connecting properties, which sit behind the former Daily Express Building on Great Ancoats Street. The listed buildings were bought from Artisan Holdings for around £6m.

Express Networks 1 is made up of 25,000 sq ft of offices over three floors and is fully let to a number of local tenants.

Express Networks 2 totals 12,000 sq ft and is vacant.

PJD said it intends to immediately refurbish Express Networks 2 and hopes to bring it to the market by mid-2018. Express Networks 1 will be “sympathetically improved” over time.

The neighbouring 81,000 sq ft Express Building is also undergoing a refurbishment, following its sale by A&A Investments to new owner Wittington earlier this year.

PJD’s second acquisition is 19B Quay Street, which was also bought in an off-market transaction. The building totals 5,500 sq ft over four floors, and sits directly opposite Allied London’s No1 Spinningfields. The property also connects to Allied London’s Astley & Byrom House.

A refurbishment of 19B Quay Street will begin in spring 2018.

PJD Holdings has a track record in buying buildings in need of refurbishment in the city, and letting them out. At Sevendale House, in the Northern Quarter, the company comprehensively redeveloped the grade two-listed building to provide over 60,000 sq ft of offices and 30,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.

Mark Davies of PJD said: “We are excited to be taking on these three new projects. We have been looking for some time to make acquisitions in the city centre with potential to enhance value through refurbishment and pro-active asset management. Daryl and I are delighted to have made not one but two off-market acquisitions at a time when finding opportunities like this in the city centre is so difficult.

“Our intention is to refurbish both buildings in a considered way, to provide modern attractive space in keeping with the location of each building, much in the way we did at Sevendale House. We feel that both purchases are in great locations which can expect to see considerable improvement over the next few years.”

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