Novo bought the Everyman from Altrincham Regeneration. Credit: via Novo

Novo to spend £50m this year to grow investment arm 

Altrincham’s Everyman Cinema is one of several assets the developer has acquired for a combined £23m in the first six months of the year as its aims to bolster its investment credentials. 

The other assets Novo has acquired are Church House in Manchester and a pair of offices on Hale Road in Altrincham. Meanwhile, out of Greater Manchester, the company is close to completing a deal to buy a business park. The assets total 145,000 sq ft.

To date, Novo has mainly been known as a development company – it has delivered several residential schemes across the North West – but the assets acquired this year signal a clear and concerted push to grow the investment side of the business, supported by private equity sponsors. 

Novo Property Group has invested more than £20m so far in 2022 on 145,000 sq ft of office and leisure space. The company plans to spend at least the same amount again between now and the end of the year, taking the total value of its investments beyond £50m.

“Our buying activities in recent months are to meet long-term investment objectives that will see Novo significantly expand its market presence,” managing director Ben Fearns told Place North West. 

“We’ve demonstrated patient and robust growth, expanding in both scale and operations across multiple sectors, in public and private sector partnerships.”

As well as the Everyman Cinema building on Altrincham’s George Street, which Novo bought from Altrincham Regeneration, the company has also acquired Church House in Manchester city centre. 

Church House, an 80,000 sq ft office building fronting Deansgate, is let to ground floor F&B operators including Gaucho and Cote. 

Church House is home to Gaucho, Cote and Toni and Guy, among others. Credit: via Novo

Novo bought the building from The Diocese of Manchester, which occupies 18,000 sq ft across four floors.  

The rent generated by Novo’s newly acquired assets – including the Hale Road offices and the business park – is anticipated to provide Novo with an additional £1.35m a year. 

At a time of market volatility, Fearns is confident the approach will pay off.

“I’ve been asked a lot recently about the market outlook, and observationally the uncertainty is palpable,” Fearns admitted. 

“But our business model is predicated around this environment and the cyclicality of the market. Working around the downside scenarios and positioning for advantageous opportunities as they arise, on one hand, presents risk but is also a key facilitator for growth.” 

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