Oddfellows buys new HQ on Deansgate

Manchester's 200-year-old The Oddfellows friendly society has paid around £4m to buy the Courthouse on Deansgate from Henry Boot Developments.

The Oddfellows will occupy the entire 17,000 sq ft office space on the first and second floor once the Grade 2-listed building's refurbishment has been completed by Henry Boot in summer 2013.

The lower ground floor was already let to local restaurant operator Steve Pilling to become a 450-seat Mr Pilling's Roast Restaurant & Oyster Bar.

Adam Brady, head of Henry Boot Developments' Manchester office, said: "We are extremely pleased to welcome The Oddfellows to The Courthouse. We have taken our time to plan for the development of a quality product, working with the building's heritage to ensure The Courthouse stands out in the market place."

He continued: "Relatively speaking, the Manchester commercial property market remains strong and we are looking forward to investing further in the city over the coming years."

Ian Ditchfield, property investment manager for The Oddfellows, said: "The Courthouse is a beautiful building that fits well with our heritage. It will provide the society with a modern, flexible office space with which to take its 200-years' experience of making friends and helping people into the future."

In 2008, The Oddfellows moved to Abbey House on Booth Street from 40 Fountain Street, which was due to be redeveloped by ING. Oddfellows signed for 10,000 sq ft at Abbey House with landlord Stephen Elias on a new 10-year lease with a tenant's only break in the fifth year, 2013.

The new property will become the society's new national headquarters once works are complete. The Oddfellows was advised by Christopher Dee, while DTZ and Matthews and Goodman acted for Henry Boot Developments.

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