A joint venture between investors Trinova Real Estate and Europi Property Group has bought the 81,000 sq ft Manchester office block from Fore Partnership for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition is the CityBee JV’s fourth as it seeks to compile a portfolio of grade A office real estate in the UK’s six biggest cities.
Fore Partnership put Windmill Hill in Manchester city centre up for sale last year, with agency Zaman Roberts instructed to seek offers in excess of £47m.
The building sits on the corner of Mount Street opposite the Midland Hotel. Investor Fore acquired the property as a vacant 1970s concrete block and appointed architecture studio Tp bennett to lead a £15m refurbishment, which completed last year led by main contractor Kier Group and Sheila Bird Group as interior designer. The seven-storey property now has roof terraces and a bar as well as office accommodation.
It is also Manchester’s first multi-let office to win a BREEAM ‘outstanding’ accolade for its environmental credentials, and features a green wall, shell and core construction from sustainable materials, and a range of cycling storage facilities for its occupiers.
Current tenants include CBRE’s flexible workspace brand Hana, as well as Oscar Recruitment, software company OneStream and mobile games producer Odyssey Interactive.
Basil Demeroutis, managing partner at Fore Partnership, said: “The sale of Windmill Green is a massive endorsement of our strategy to focus on tired and out-of-date offices in great locations and repurposing them as ultra-sustainable workspaces designed for the next generation of occupiers.
“When we acquired the site, planning permission was in place for a new build tower, but we passionately believe in retrofit and its sustainability benefits and chose to refurbish the existing building to retain the embodied carbon.
“We aim through all our developments to demonstrate that not only can we drive positive environmental and social benefits through real estate but that we can also provide strong commercial returns to our investors. Windmill Green is an exemplar of this approach.”
The CityBee joint venture was set up last September to buy high-quality offices in the ‘big six’ cities of Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol, with a focus on sustainability.
Trinova and Europi have been contacted for comment.