A decision is understood to be imminent on the sale of the prominent building opposite Altrincham’s transport interchange, which has planning consent for a residential conversion, with Fortis in the frame as lead bidder.
The long leasehold of the building, covering the second to sixth floors, was put up for sale by its owner Lunar last year. There is planning permission in place to convert the vacant 33,800 sq ft of offices into 60 apartments, along with a rooftop extension.
Savills was instructed to market the long leasehold in December last year, and it is understood Fortis has returned with the highest offer which is approaching £5m in value. Other bidders included Trafford Housing Trust; Novo; and Quinta Group with Southway Housing Trust; it is understood the other bidders have been informed they have been unsuccessful.
Lunar is looking to work with the successful bidder to overhaul Clarendon House within the existing planning consent, rather than opening it up to a comprehensive redevelopment.
Trafford Council owns the freehold of the building, which also houses retail units on the ground floor. It also was also formerly home to the town’s library, which has relocated to Altrincham Health & Wellbeing Centre.
Lunar had previously offered to buy Clarendon House from the council, but Trafford said the disposal of the site was “not aligned” with its investment strategy, where it is seeking revenue returns.
Following any sale of the residential development part of the site, the council will receive a share and will also receive rental income from the project once it completes.
While it has offices in Altrincham and Hale, Fortis is primarily active in Salford, where it is currently delivering 376 homes at Bridgewater Wharf through its in-house construction arm, Beaumont Morgan. It is also on site at Adelphi Wharf, set to feature 387 apartments over four separate blocks to the north of Chapel Street.
Last year, it sold part of its Furness Quay development in Salford Quays to Latimer.
Lunar is a joint venture made up of international fund Apollo and UK-based fund M+M, which also owns the town’s Stamford Quarter retail centre.
Earlier this month, the company put forward plans to convert Altrincham’s Rackhams into a mixed-use development of offices, apartments, and retail.
Lunar, which owns the long leasehold of the Stamford Quarter, is proposing to reconfigure the building into three retail stores on the ground and lower ground floors, totalling 22,700 sq ft.
The first floor is set to be converted to a 17,200 sq ft office, while there will be 62 one and two-bed flats above. Pozzoni is the architect.
Ahead of the sale of Clarendon House, Altrincham-based developer Novo along with architect Project3 and landscape architect Planit-IE put forward an alternative proposals for the site, featuring a comprehensive redevelopment and a new public realm corridor linking the station with the Stamford Quarter. However, this was never progressed.
Lunar was contacted for comment, while Fortis confirmed it was the successful bidder when contacted by Place North West.