BT shortlists options for Manchester hub

16th July 2019

Ask Real Estate, MEPC and Bruntwood are among the developers vying to host BT in Manchester.

The telecommunications giant has shortlisted the firm’s 166,000 sq ft 100 Embankment site as a potential option for its new office hub, as well as its similarly sized sister scheme, 101 Embankment.

BT has also shortlisted Ask Real Estate’s First Street office development as a possible destination.

Ask Real Estate and the Richardson family formed a joint venture with Patrizia UK in 2019, to bring forward 750,000 sq ft of offices at First Street in Manchester city centre.

BT is looking to take up around 200,000 sq ft of space in the city.

The company’s shortlist also includes MEPC’s 200,000 sq ft 4 Angel Square Development. The building sits within MEPC’s wider NOMA scheme, which will provide 2.5m sq ft of newly built and renovated office space.

Bruntwood SciTech’s Circle Square development is also in the race. The scheme will provide 1.2m sq ft of workspace. Plans for No 3 have been brought forward, while buildings No 1 and 2 are currently under construction.

Other shortlisted options include The English Cities Fund’s £650m New Bailey scheme, which is being delivered by a jv between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England.

The telecommunications giant has shortlisted Manchester as one of its eight key locations as part of a consolidation programme that will see its nationwide office stock slashed by 90%.

For the time being, it is thought BT has agreed a three-year deal for office space in the centre of Manchester, before it finds a longer term arrangement.

Spaces, the co-working arm of flexible working space provider Regus, has agreed a deal to manage 125 Deansgate on behalf of BT.

Last month, BT hired JLL to advise the company amid plans to consolidate more than 300 of its UK offices to around 30.

The 30 offices will be a mixture of existing office buildings and new acquisitions.

BT said the consolidation programme is the biggest of its type ever undertaken in the UK, and it is expected to complete in 2023.

Bruntwood SciTech and Ask Real Estate declined to comment. All other parties did not respond to requests for comment.

Source EGi