Regus eyes third base in central Manchester

Serviced office provider Regus is in early talks to take 12,000 sq ft with an option to expand at Argent's Piccadilly Place in Manchester.

Regus recently signed for 17,500 sq ft at Allied London's Spinningfields, in 3 Hardman Street due for completion next spring, and currently only operates from 82 King Street in the city centre. It has centres in Didsbury and Manchester Business Park next to the airport as well.

The firm is keen not to miss out on the office expansion in the Piccadilly area and is discussing options at 3 Piccadilly Place with Argent's agents GVA Grimley and Savills.

No decision is imminent as Regus, seen by many as an economic barometer, is struggling to maintain growth in uncertain market conditions. Its share price has halved from a year-high of more than 150p to around 85p in the past few weeks, parting company with its chief executive and head of sales along the way.

Argent has already attracted Government Office for the North West, the Highways Agency and law firm Weightmans to the new 200,000 sq ft building, designed by Austin Smith Lord and due for completion in mid-2008. The quoting rent is £25/sq ft.

Piccadilly Place will provide 675,000 sq ft of offices, flats and a hotel along with shops and restaurants around a private piazza.

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