Why has Sale become a hot spot for business?
In the first of a series of monthly blogs, we will be taking a look at some of the key areas in and around Manchester. First up is Sale, which forms part of the South Manchester office market. Over the last 10 years, Conrad explains how Sale has positioned itself as a popular location for office occupiers in the construction, finance and call centre industries.
So where exactly is Sale?
Located about seven miles to the south west of Manchester city centre, the town is spread along the A56 from Junction 7 of the M60 at the North down to Timperely /Altrincham to the south.
The town centre itself is focussed around School Road/Northenden Road and Springfield Road, just to the east of the A56. The main residential areas around the town include Brooklands and Ashton upon Mersey.
Sale is perceived as a location which offers good quality office accommodation at mid-range rents, combining excellent motorway accessibility with great public transport and strong labour pool.
What about the transport links?
Sale was one of the first areas to benefit from the Metrolink. The Altrincham to Manchester line runs through Sale with stations at Timperley, Brooklands, Sale and Dane Road. The journey time from Sale Metrolink station to Manchester City Centre is approximately 15 minutes to St Peter’s Square. The Metrolink certainly improved Sale as an office location, with the tram system being much more efficient than the previous rail services.
But it’s not only public transport that has made Sale popular in recent years. The town has extremely good motorway accessibility with junctions 6 and 7 of the M60 within 5 minutes’ drive and the A6144(M) Carrington spur within 5-10 minutes’ drive via Ashton upon Mersey. Over the years, Sale has become a popular location for young professionals, combining ease of access into Manchester with affordable house prices.
What does Sale have in terms of retail?
Sale’s retail offer has come on significantly to meet the demand of these more affluent homeowners and expanding businesses….
Sainsburys and Marks & Spencer are relatively new additions to the retail offering, joining the longer established Tesco store, all within easy walking distance of the town centre, together with Boots, Superdrug, WH Smith, Specsavers, Post Office, Argos, Johnson’s Dry Cleaners, Holland & Barratt, Carphone Warehouse, O2, Vodafone, Timpsons, Co-operative Food, Aldi, Wilkinsons, Co-op Travel, Thomas Cook, First Choice, Thomson Travel and Majestic Wine.
Most high street banks have branches in the town centre, including Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Barclays, Halifax, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander. Building Society branches include Nationwide, Manchester Building Society, Cheshire Building Society, Skipton Building Society and Leeds Building Society.
Sale has positioned itself as a key location for leisure. The well- established TGI Fridays is popular both in the afternoon and evening and Sale has differentiated itself from its neighbouring towns thanks to the Trafford Watersports Centre and the Waterside Arts centre.
Sale’s leisure offering also includes LA Fitness, TGI Fridays, Sale Leisure Centre, Café Nero, Costa Coffee, Slug & Lettuce, Weatherspoons and Sale Golf Club.
Public Pay & Display car parks are located at Broad Road (QParks – 440 spaces) and Oaklands Drive.
How well does the town’s office market perform and who’s there?
Annual office take-up in Sale has averaged c. 52,000 sq ft per annum in the 3 years between 2013 and 2015. This represents c. 9% of average annual take-up for South Manchester during the same period. The average size of transaction during this period has been c. 4,100 sq ft.
Notable deals between 2013 and 2015 include Harrington Brooks (50,000 sq ft at Jackson House), NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (12,000 sq ft at Crossgate House), Stanton Fisher (10,000 sq ft at Dalton House) and Ralli Solicitors (8,000 sq ft at Jackson House). Styles & Wood signed a lease on 26,500 sq ft at Cavendish House in March 2016, relocating from Altrincham.
Other major office occupiers in Sale include IBM, Trafford Housing Trust, Cap Gemini, Lloyds TSB, GE Capital Fleet Services and Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The majority of office buildings in Sale are located along the A56 Washway Road. The main office stock comprises modern buildings constructed in the 1970’s 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Landmark office buildings with large floor-plates include Jackson House, Crossgate House, Marsland House, Sale Point, Cavendish House and CityGate.
Orbit Developments have made significant investment in Sale over the years, owning 8 office buildings in the town, most of which they have developed themselves since the 1980’s. Bruntwood own 3 office buildings and Commercial Estates Group own the largest single building in Jackson House (c. 130,000 sq ft). Willan Investments also own a number of smaller buildings in the town, including Brooklands Place, adjoining Brooklands Metrolink Station, where their Head Office is located.
Office rents range from c. £10.00 psf to £16.50 psf. On-site car parking is usually charged at an additional rental between £400 pa and £500 pa per space.
Sale has a wide range of office occupiers but is particularly popular amongst call centre and telesales operations, attracted by modern specification offices with large floor-plates, affordable occupational costs, good public transport and motorway accessibility, retail and leisure amenities and an extensive labour pool both within Sale itself and from surrounding residential areas such as Altrincham, Timperley, Wythenshawe, Carrington, Urmston, Stretford and Old Trafford.
There is currently good demand for well specified offices along the A56 corridor and, whilst there is still a decent supply of accommodation, this is quite fragmented, with few buildings able to offer over 30,000 sq ft under one roof. One such building is One, Dovecote Business Park, totaling 60,000 sq ft, which was acquired by PIN Properties in 2015 (their first foray into the Sale office market) and is undergoing refurbishment.
What does the future hold for Sale?
Future development is likely to be limited to refurbishment of existing stock. Some office buildings have seen conversion to alternative use (Fairbairn House to residential and Citygate 1 to hotel) and this is likely to be the case for the 40,000 sq ft Acre House above The Square Shopping Centre, which has recently been acquired by MCR Property. The loss of these buildings from the existing office stock will bring demand and supply back to equilibrium and, after a long period of stagnation in rental values, we expect rental growth over the next 2-3 years as supply continues to erode.
If you’re looking to relocate your business and deciding if Sale is for you or want to acquire a property but are unsure on the market then please get in touch @canningoneill.com – we’d love to hear from you. For current availability see Offices to Rent in Sale.