No8 First Street

WSP homes in on No8 for city centre office

Charlie Schouten and Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Engineering consultancy WSP is close to finalising its long-running search for a Manchester city centre office to bring together staff from three locations under one roof, with employees preparing to move into No8 First Street next year.

WSP has been in negotiations to take 60,000 sq ft in the 173,000 sq ft No8 for a number of months. The company has been looking for a central site for 900 people, co-locating staff following the mergers with Mouchel Consulting and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is relocating from Oxford Road, WSP will move out of offices in Salford Quays, and Mouchel is relocating from St James House on Queen Street.

It is understood that staff will begin moving into the new office in the first half of 2018. The consultancy is remaining tightlipped on the specific location, but sources confirmed it was “close to Deansgate Castlefield”, which is the nearest tram and train station to First Street.

Ask is managing the development on behalf of Patrizia and Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund. The architect is Fletcher Priest.

Completion of the building, which was originally scheduled for this autumn, has now been pushed back to spring 2018. Carillion is the main contractor, and the delay has been attributed to problems with sub-contractors.

Gazprom signed as a pre-let occupier early in the construction process, and has now taken access to fit out a 51,500 sq ft office, split across two floors.

Earlier this year, online retailer Amazon was also tipped to be looking at the office to fulfil a 70,000 sq ft requirement.

Savills and GVA are agents on the scheme. Ask has been approached for comment, while WSP declined to comment.

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