The identity of the occupier searching for offices in Greater Manchester under Project Boomerang has been revealed as BSkyB, after the broadcaster agreed terms to take 23,500 sq ft in BAM Properties' recently completed St Peter's Square office in Stockport.
Sky's regional customer services base will see the creation of over 550 jobs in the town centre. The deal instantly takes BAM's new 51,400 sq ft building to nearly 50% let less than a year after completion in summer 2009.
St Peter's was the first Grade A office space in the town centre for seven years and the first to achieve BREEAM 'Excellent' rating.
Chris Stylianou, head of Sky's customer centres, said: "Sky is excited about finding a new home in Stockport and I'm delighted to be able to announce these new opportunities. We look forward to recruiting a great team here in Stockport and to making a real contribution to the local community."
Cushman & Wakefield advised BSkyB and had shortlisted Piccadilly Place in Manchester city centre as well as St Peter's Square. Sky has a small news bureau and advertising sales office in Manchester and had an office in Wilmslow that closed in the late 1990s, hence the project name boomerang as it is reopening in the area.
Sky is paying £18.50/sq ft on a 15-year lease, with a break clause at ten years. The company wants to take occupation by 1 July.
Neil Mort, development manager of Salford-based BAM Properties, said: "To have secured half the space at St Peter's Square to Sky certainly justifies BAM's commitment to building this development speculatively. It's a great start to 2010 and we are actively working with Sky to complete the opening of its customer service centre. We are further encouraged by the level of interest in the remaining accommodation."
Cllr Dave Goddard, leader of Stockport Council, said: "This is fantastic news, and will boost the local economy and employment opportunities."
Andrew Timms, partner of letting agents Edwards & Co, said: "The fact that we have attracted Sky to St Peter's Square is testament to the quality of its construction and unrivalled specification. We fought off strong competition from within the Greater Manchester region and landing such a well known brand at the building is a great coup both for the town and BAM Properties."
Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Midas, Manchester's investment and development agency, said: "This investment is fantastic news for Stockport and will serve to kick-off the town centre redevelopment in great style. We are delighted to welcome such a high-profile brand to the city region and MIDAS will continue to work with the firm as it establishes its presence in the city region."
The building was designed by HKR Architects and has six storeys with floorplates of up to 11,800 sq ft.
Joint letting agents are GVA Grimley & Edwards & Co.