Russell WBHO completes Hyphen refurb 

The contractor has finished refurbishing 51,000 sq ft of offices at Boultbee Brooks Real Estate’s Mosley Street building in Manchester, having replaced now-defunct Styles & Wood last year. 

The project involved upgrading the 1970s building to create office suites ranging from 750 sq ft to 7,000 sq ft across seven floors.

The ground and first floor communal facilities, including a gym and coffee shop, have been revamped and two outdoor terraced areas have been created on the first and seventh floors. 

Contractor Styles & Wood began work to refurbish the building in 2016 and completion was originally scheduled for the following year. However, the project experienced significant delays and Russell WBHO took over from Styles & Wood in June 2019. Styles & Wood went into administration earlier this year.

Russell had previously worked with property owner Boultbee Brooks and project manager OBI Property on the refurbishment of The Core on Manchester’s Brown Street in 2018. 

Andrew Russell, joint managing director of Russell WBHO, said: “There are always challenges inherent in taking over a scheme part-way through, but our team’s in-depth planning in the pre-commencement stage meant we were able to complete the project within budget, specification and programme for our client.” 

David Whitcher, project director for Boultbee Brooks Real Estate, added that the project was “the only one of our current schemes not to have a period of shut down” due to the pandemic. 

“Despite having to reduce numbers on site and having to carefully manage a shifting supply chain, Russell kept the project on track,” he said. 

Co-working operator WeWork had agreed to occupy the whole of Hyphen once complete, but pulled out of the deal in July as part of an ongoing review of its UK portfolio of sites – four of which are in Manchester.  The US-based occupier is seeking to cut costs following two years of financial troubles compounded by shifting office market demand during the pandemic. 

As well as being project manager for the refurbishment of Hyphen, OBI Property is also the letting agent for the building. 

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