EXCHANGE QUAY ACQUISITION COMPLETES

Major North American Investment Into Greater Manchester

November 2013 – Exchange Quay, Salford Quay’s iconic 433,637 sq ft office complex, has been acquired by a North American Institution for an undisclosed sum in a deal completed by its advisor, Edinburgh-based Hunter Property Fund Management (HPFM).

HPFM was represented by Matthews & Goodman in the deal, while Savills acted for the vendor, a Channel Islands based Trust.

The deal will bring about a further investment of £10M into comprehensively remodelling and refurbishing the scheme, representing a significant inward investment into the Greater Manchester office market.

Exchange Quay received broad acclaim when it was developed in the early 1990’s, often hailed as the ‘Canary Wharf of the North’ and comprises six extensive office buildings ranging from 26,151 sq ft to 116,684 sq ft. The scheme, which also boasts its own dedicated Metrolink tram stop, is strategically located just off Trafford Road which links Salford Quays to both Manchester City Centre and the major motorway networks via the M602.

A host of high profile occupiers such as Sage UK are in occupation at Exchange Quay. Recent deals to new occupiers include Kin-Tec Electronics who is occupying 8,181 sq ft and Future Electronics leasing 4,000 sq ft. Existing occupiers GAB Robins and CH Robinson have also recently expanded to occupy 10,000 sq ft and 6,785 sq ft respectively.

Mark Hunter, managing director of Hunter Property Fund Management, said; “Our brief was to source a project within the UK with immediate asset management opportunities and real potential to add value.  As one of the country’s most dynamic office markets, Greater Manchester was an obvious choice, as was Salford Quays, which has been greatly transformed by infrastructure and Media City into a destination in its own right.

“We identified that Exchange Quay occupies one of the most strategic locations in the region and, after our investment, it will offer some of the most flexible and attractive office accommodation in Greater Manchester. Our competitive terms, coupled with quoting rents in Salford Quays standing some 50% less than in Manchester City Centre, give us distinct advantage.“

HPFM has confirmed that the £10M programme of works will involve significant internal refurbishment of the office accommodation, external improvements to the buildings and extensive upgrading of the on-site environment and amenity offer. The work will be undertaken in a phased approach, with full plans to be unveiled in forthcoming months.

With office suites from 800 sq ft up to floor plates of 12,300 sq ft, Exchange Quay can accommodate a host of occupiers from media start-ups seeking space in Media City right up to larger organisations looking for Headquarter offices as well as call centre and back office operations and firms with a high volume of car-based staff seeking to capitalise on the 1:250 sq ft parking ratio.

Hunter continues; “Our goal is to create an outstanding working environment for all our tenants, existing and new. We are fully committed to this intensive project and will be heavily resourcing it to ensure that Exchange Quay achieves its full potential.”