Pair of law firms sign at Gary Neville’s £400m St Michael’s
Pinsent Masons and Hill Dickinson have signed 10-year leases for a combined 45,000 sq ft within the £120m first phase of the much-anticipated Manchester development.
It is understood that both firms will pay around £43/sq ft for their spaces at Relentless Developments’ building. That would be the highest rent in the city.
Pinsent Masons will relocate from Three Hardman Street into 27,000 sq ft across floors seven and eight of the development, located off Jacksons Row. CBRE acted for Pinsent Masons on the deal, while OBI represented the landlord.
Neil Black, Manchester office head at Pinsent Masons, said: “Manchester is an important market for legal and professional services, serving as a hub for investment and development across the North West region.
“Our move into St Michael’s signals an important era for us as we continue to develop and invest in our people, clients, and communities across the region.”
Hill Dickinson is moving from Fountain Street to 18,000 sq ft on the top floor of the nine-storey St Michael’s block.
Keith Feeny, director of IT and Operations at Hill Dickinson, said the move would help the firm achieve a number of objectives.
“Our decision to invest in St Michael’s represents our commitment to the continued growth of Hill Dickinson, our commitment to the wider cultural investment in Manchester as a city, and a real desire to improve the sustainability of our operations. We believe this project will help us deliver on all three.”
No1 St Michael’s is expected to be the “first fully net zero carbon commercial development in the city, both in operation and delivery”, according to Relentless.
“We’ve worked so hard to create a development that is distinctive in both its imaginative design and heritage as well as its location connecting the city’s business district with the historic civic quarter,” said Gary Neville, director of Relentless.
“Signing a deal with two of the world’s most reputable law firms and setting a new headline rent as we launch is a testament to that.”
Speaking to Place North West, Neville said negotiations for another 45,000 sq ft within the building are at an advanced stage.
“To have almost 50,000 sq ft in the bag another potentially 50,000 sq ft hopefully going into legals in the next month or two tells us that I feel that St Michael’s is being accepted by the market,” he said.
“We went on that journey a few years ago, where we felt as though we probably didn’t bring people along on the journey, but it feels like now, when we present to people, there’s a warmth.”
Contractor Bowmer+Kirkland is due to complete the first phase, comprising 180,000 sq ft of offices and a rooftop restaurant let to Chotto Matte, next year. This part of the project is being delivered in partnership with investor KKR.
Attention is now starting to turn to the second phase, No2 St Michael’s, which Neville said will feature “world-class leisure and residential elements”.
The tower will feature 217 apartments and a further 75,000 sq ft of office space as well as a 162-bedroom five-star hotel.
Relentless is close to signing a deal with an “upscale global hotel operator” for the tower.
Place North West revealed earlier this year that Marriott Group’s W Hotels brand was in line to open its third UK site at St Michael’s.
Simon Ismail, co-founder of Salboy, said the development would “raise the bar for the city’s residential, hospitality, workspace and leisure offerings.”
“Salboy and Relentless share a passion for delivering this new world-class development in the centre of Manchester. We are really looking forward to delivering No.2 St Michael’s, with the help of all of our dedicated partners.”
St Michael’s was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Hodder + Partners to be both “epochal in its transformation of an underused area in the heart of the city, while also sympathetic to the site’s heritage as the former home to Manchester City Police headquarters”, project partners said.
The development, which has been 15 years in the making, is due to complete in 2027.
Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said St Michael’s will be a “defining regeneration project for our city centre”.
“Following a long road to bring this challenging, long underused site forward, it’s a welcome milestone that construction will start over the summer on a new icon of our city’s skyline.”