Giants Basin, Manchester, P.Urban Splash
75% of US's 1.2m sq ft commercial portfolio is located in the North West. Credit: via Cubed Thinking

Urban Splash offloads industrial space to focus on offices  

Dan Whelan

The developer has acquired the 10,200 sq ft Giant’s Basin in Castlefield for £2.6m, while disposing of Barton Business Park in a strategic move aimed at boosting its workspace portfolio. 

Urban Splash bought the fully-let Giant’s Basin from mutual society National Friendly in an off-market deal. The transaction was completed with a combination of cash and support from Rothschild, the developer said. 

Tangerine PR is among the tenants within the building.

The acquisition of Giant’s Basin further expands Urban Splash’s commercial portfolio in the North West, where 75% of its 1.2m sq ft of its total assets are located. 

“We like to be active owners and are always keen to buy assets that will enhance our offer,” said Urban Splash director Nathan Cornish. 

“We have bought several buildings that might not initially look like typical Urban Splash assets, but our plan over time is to upgrade them so that they blend into the portfolio and give customers what they would expect from an Urban Splash product.” 

While adding to its office portfolio, which also features Beehive Mill in Ancoats and Boat Shed at Salford Quays, Urban Splash has sold Barton Business Park in Eccles.

The developer acquired the 2.6-acre industrial estate in 2016 and has now sold it to Mileway, the European last-mile logistics company.  

The sale, which achieved a net initial yield of 5%, is part of Urban Splash’s ongoing strategy to offload industrial assets. Earlier this year, the company sold City Court in Manchester to HBD for £5.8m.

Cornish added: “Barton is a great site and we have enjoyed welcoming new tenants to the space there under our ownership, however it is the right time for us to move away from industrial, instead focusing on delivering offices and workspace that are in line with our wider offer.”

Zaman Roberts acted for Urban Splash on the purchase of Giant’s Basin, while Avison Young acted for the company on its sale of Barton Business Park. Knight Frank acted for Mileway and National Friendly was represented by Mellersh & Harding. 

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Urban Splash’s journey from upstart developer, challenging conventional wisdom, into an establishment friendly, yield/shareholder value-driven unit-shifter looks to be complete. But this is always the fate of a successful property business. Where are the new challengers who can fill the gap?

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A nice picture of our Parker Wilson’s first sustainable building in Manchester , which was originally designed as an Education Centre and ended up as an office .

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