Soapworks sold to property fund for £60m

American private equity group Carlyle has sold the 400,000 sq ft Salford office development to the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund, for £60m.

The first two phases, totalling 230,000 sq ft, are fully let. Carlyle put the buildings on the market earlier this year at a guide price of £55m.

GMPVF said it intends to build out an additional 150,000 sq ft of offices at the site and a new multi storey car park. The plans also include 240 homes and 150 hotel rooms as part of the wider Ivy Wharf regeneration.

Carlyle Group developed Soapworks in partnership Nikal and Abstract Securities, to designs by architect Shedkm.

The 8.4-acre site was formerly a Colgate-Palmolive factory before Carlyle acquired it in 2008. The redevelopment was partially funded by a £6m loan from the European Union-backed North West Evergreen Fund.

The 230,000 sq ft refurbishment and redevelopment completed in 2014.

The largest occupiers are TalkTalk and the Home Office. Rents average £16.50/sq ft , and the annual rental income is £4m.

GVA advised the GMPFV. CBRE represented Carlyle.

Cllr Kieran Quinn, chair of Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said: “For some time I have been in no doubt that Local Government Pension Schemes have a vital role in driving economic growth through investment.

“As the largest local government pension fund in the country, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund has a proud history of investing in both Greater Manchester and the North West through projects such as Matrix Homes and One St Peter’s. I’m delighted that we’re continuing to deliver on that goal with the purchase of the Soapworks development.

“I look forward to seeing this iconic development come to life. This innovative and prestigious scheme will attract businesses and support economic growth in Salford and the wider Greater Manchester region. The returns on this investment will also help enable us to achieve our over-riding aim of meeting our pension commitments to the GMPF’s 350,000 members.”

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