Date: October 23, 2023
Manchester, UK – Manchester’s office market experienced a significant boost in the third quarter of 2023, fueled by high-profile deals orchestrated by former footballer turned developer, Gary Neville, with law firms Pinsent Masons and Hill Dickinson. These deals, situated in the heart of the city’s bustling center, have set new standards and propelled the city’s commercial landscape to new heights.
In July, it was reported that Pinsent Masons and Hill Dickinson had secured space at the £400 million St Michael’s development, marking a watershed moment for Manchester. The pre-lets, totaling 26,842 sq ft for Pinsent Masons and 18,192 sq ft for Hill Dickinson, were clinched at a record price of £43 per sq ft, setting an unparalleled benchmark in the city.
Newly released figures by MOAF (Manchester Office Agents Forum), a collective of real estate experts, reveal the extent of the impact of these deals. The city center experienced a substantial surge in office space uptake, reaching 351,063 sq ft in Q3, compared to 179,073 sq ft in the previous quarter. A total of 59 deals were completed, including notable transactions such as Arden University’s acquisition of 42,944 sq ft at 2 Hardman Street, UA92 securing 36,751 sq ft at Bruntwood’s Riverside, and Cubo leasing 30,829 sq ft at The Lincoln.
Commenting on this surge, Rosie Veitch from Sixteen Real Estate stated, “Grade A space continues to let well, especially as supply of quality space diminishes in the city center. The robust uptake witnessed over the last three months is hugely positive, and we anticipate this level of activity to persist into the final quarter. Manchester is poised for a strong finish to the year, with the confidence that uptake will surpass one million sq ft for the year.”
South Manchester mirrored this upward trend, with office space uptake rising to 180,987 sq ft, a significant increase from 146,806 sq ft in Q2 2023. The growth is attributed to the attractiveness of town center locations and office developments that prioritize vibrant workplace environments and quality on-site amenities. One standout example is Towers in Didsbury, which has seen substantial lettings, including 14,948 sq ft to software company Conferma Pay, owing to its focus on well-being and events, alongside quality office spaces.
“The pre-lets achieved at St Michaels have set a new precedent for Grade A office space in Manchester, underscoring the city’s resilient commercial landscape,” added Veitch. “As the supply of Grade A space diminishes, the supply-demand dynamic becomes increasingly interesting, with occupiers favoring high-quality, sustainable office spaces in prime locations.”
Gary Neville’s strategic deals with Pinsent Masons and Hill Dickinson have not only reshaped Manchester’s skyline but have also revitalized the city’s commercial real estate sector, positioning it for continued success in the future. As the year draws to a close, Manchester stands as a testament to the power of strategic investments and collaborative efforts in shaping a thriving urban landscape.