The Hut Group has exchanged contracts with Airport City to build a £1bn office campus, two years after the option agreement was first announced, with a start on site due this summer on the 288,000 sq ft first phase.
A deal between THG and Airport City was announced in 2018, outlining the intention to build a 1m sq ft campus for the online beauty and wellbeing business at the Manchester site. A planning application for the first phase was approved in 2019.
Enabling works are now set to start on site in early summer on a 288,000 sq ft office, with the main construction phase due to immediately follow. The project is aiming for a 2022 opening.
The Hut Group and Airport City Manchester are contracted for another two phases, to expand the campus to the planned 1m sq ft, which would house 10,000 staff on completion.
Separately, immediately to the south of Manchester Airport within the Icon Global Logistics zone, THG is developing a 168,000 sq ft warehouse with associated offices, and a further 104,000 sq ft of offices and content creation studio, housing 2,000 people across the studios and four floors of offices. Construction is set to be completed in late 2020.
THQ will be the first office developed at Airport City Manchester. Two hotels have also recently starting on site as part of what Airport City is badging as a £180m district, while an application is in for a third, and work has started on a £6m pedestrian bridge connecting to the airport transport interchange.
CBRE and Eversheds Sutherland advised Airport City, with THG supported by Gowlings and architect and interior designer Penson. Faithful+Gould is acting as project manager and quantity surveyor.
Jonathan Haigh, managing director, MAG Property and Airport City Manchester JV Partner, said:
“This is a defining moment for Airport City Manchester. We are delighted THG has chosen our scheme for its new global headquarters and we advance to the delivery phase together with great enthusiasm.
“We believe this will be one of the UK’s largest bespoke office developments outside of Greater London as well as one of the largest ever by a company based in the North West.
“It’s an innovative transaction in which we will deliver state-of-the-art business accommodation, and in safeguarding adjoining land parcels for subsequent phases of planned future growth, we reflect and foster a long-term partner-style relationship with THG to grow sustainably together.
“THG putting roots down at Airport City Manchester presents tremendous benefit to the local and regional economy, not least through significant job creation and we’ll springboard from this deal as we promote our remaining 50 acres of consented development land.”