LaSalle Investment Management has bought Gateway House, the 140,000 sq ft S-shaped building on Piccadilly Station approach in Manchester from Yousef Tishbi's Realty Estates.
The landmark building is earmarked by Manchester City Council for potential clearance to make way for the HS2 terminal. One source close to the deal said LaSalle would asset manage the nine-storey building, where the upper office floors have been vacant for several years, and increase income pending the outcome for HS2 which could take many years to deliver.
Gateway House is a modernist office block designed by architect Richard Seifert & Partners and completed in 1969.
The building currently functions as a retail parade on the way to the train station. There are 16 retail units at ground level, of which 11 are occupied and five vacant. Waitrose is currently fitting out a store at 12-15 Piccadilly Approach, due to open later this summer.
Realty Estates bought the building in 2008 from Pearl Assurance for a price reported to be £8.5m and announced a £35m plan to redevelop the site. The company commissioned Hodder & Partners to design the scheme, with plans to convert the building into a 270-bed hotel. NHS North West Health Authority occupied the building for 42 years and exited in 2010.
Realty's proposals received planning permission from Manchester City Council in December 2011, but work did not begin on its redevelopment. Under Realty's ownership Caffe Nero was secured as a tenant, an advertising screen was erected on the outside of the building on the approach from the city centre and a car park was developed next to the site.
A planning framework published by Manchester City Council in September 2013 suggested the building could be demolished to extend the station for the new HS2 terminal. The draft blueprint for the site was agreed by councillors in January, with the future of the building still in doubt if HS2 is delivered.
Realty Estates was unrepresented. All parties were unavailable to comment.