Fountain Street Zurich p.planning docs

The building as it is today (left), versus the proposals. Credit: via planning documents

Zurich offloads Manchester office to Bywater 

Located in Manchester’s central business district, 35 Fountain Street benefits from planning permission for a comprehensive refurbishment and two-storey extension. 

Zurich Insurance has sold the Manchester office building, which was originally developed in 2002, to Bywater Properties for an undisclosed sum. 

The acquisition of 35 Fountain Street is Bywater’s second in the city. The firm bought and redeveloped Northstar on Oldham Street before selling it to Open Door Developments in 2022. 

The 35 Fountain Street project will see the 48,000 sq ft building modernised, while the extension would add an additional 17,000 sq ft of office space.  

Indoor shared amenity space and an outdoor terrace would be located on the roof.   

Patrick O’Gorman, chief executive at Bywater, said: “We are delighted to announce our acquisition of 35 Fountain Street as part of plans to expand our portfolio across the UK. 

“Our vision is to deliver a sustainable, high-quality office building that will enhance the urban fabric and transform occupier experiences in Manchester.”

Bywater said it is committed to implementing the consented scheme and will place a particular focus on its sustainability credentials, especially timber. 

Bywater plans to use mass timber for the framework of the extension. Last year, the developer entered into a long-term partnership with Sumitomo Forestry Co a timber construction specialist. 

The first partnership between the companies is already underway. Paradise, a six-storey mass timber office building in Vauxhall designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, is under construction and expected to complete later this year. 

O’Gorman added: “By remaining steadfast in our use of sustainable materials – particularly timber – we are ensuring Bywater’s assets, such as 35 Fountain Street, are built as resilient, long-term investments.” 

CBRE acted on behalf of the vendor.

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