Barnett House, Satis Group, c PNW

Satis plans to refurbish the building. Credit: Place North West

Satis Group acquires vacant Manchester office block

Barnett House has been empty since 2021 after the subsidiary of IWG that held the lease went into administration. 

Cheshire-based Satis Group has now acquired the 33,000 sq ft Fountain Street office from Canada Life for an undisclosed sum. 

Barnett House’s new owner plans to refurbish the building and deliver modern “best-in-class” workspace, according to Satis director Shiro Rauniar. 

Last year, Satis completed the refurbishment of 22 St John Street, which provides serviced office suites for around £500 a desk a month. 

It is the experience of this project that paved the way for the Barnett House buy, Rauniar said. 

“We thought [after 22 St John Street] that if we bought a larger building we would have better economies of scale,” he said. “This opportunity came up and we fell in love with it.” 

The acquisition is Satis’ second in recent weeks. The firm, whose other director is Tom Morley, picked up the former Richer Sounds unit on Deansgate earlier this month and plans to convert the store into high-end apartments. 

The eight-storey Barnett House last traded in 2018 when Canada Life bought it from Eric Wright Group or £8m in 2018. 

A company called Fountain Street Manchester Centre, the leaseholder and a subsidiary of Regus parent IWG, was the building’s last tenant. The company appointed Quantuma as administrator almost three years ago. 

Savills acted for Canada Life and Sixteen acted for Satis. DBF provided legal advice to Satis. Property lender Together and debt advisory firm Arc & Co provided a £1.5m bridge and £3.4m development facility to finance the deal.

Cameron Hayes, director at Arc & Co, said: “We’re pleased to have advised on and completed the funding for this office development, for a client who is actively looking to grow in the best-in-class commercial space”.

Together chief executive of sales and distribution, Marc Goldberg, added: “This area is a real gem of central Manchester, and we are delighted to be able to help the borrower with this acquisition.

“Working alongside Arc & Co., we have been able to navigate a financial plan that works best for all parties involved. They have
been brilliant throughout, and we hope to continue working with them in the future on more exciting projects.”

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A lot of empty office space around there


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