Premier Inn deal triggers next First Street phase

26th February 2019

Ask Real Estate, in partnership with the Richardson family and Patrizia, has exchanged on a pre-let agreement with Whitbread for a 200-bedroom Premier Inn hotel at First Street, Manchester, with Bam confirmed as contractor.

The hotel operator will occupy the top five floors of a 16 storey mixed-use development, which secured planning permission in December 2018. With the deal now in place for the hotel, Bam will start construction this summer with completion due in early 2021. Jon Matthews Architects has designed the building.

Completion of this deal means a second JV between Ask, the Richardson family and Whitbread will be triggered for the redevelopment of the existing Premier Inn Deansgate Locks hotel site, adjacent to First Street, with a separate 480,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme.

A planning application for this development is expected to be submitted to Manchester City Council in May.

Premier Inn is the first confirmed tenant in the new building at First Street and will occupy floors 12 to 16, with 160,000 sq ft of offices on floors one to 11. The new building will also feature winter gardens on each of the office floors, replicating the winter gardens at No. 8 First Street, together with open staircases to connect floors and a triple height reception space. The hotel will benefit from a separate entrance and lift core.

John Hughes, managing director of Ask Real Estate, said: “With a projected lack of grade A office space in the city from 2021 we will be bringing forward much needed, high-quality and flexible office space to a buoyant market and are delighted to announce Premier Inn as the building’s first tenant.

“Given the high level of demand we saw from a broad range of businesses for N08, which was 80% pre-let before practical completion, we are confident that there is capacity in the office market for further development at First Street. This is the latest step in the ongoing evolution of the First Street neighbourhood which is the proven mixed-use destination we envisaged.”

Nicholas Johnston, acquisition manager for Northern England at Premier Inn, said: “As a major investor in Manchester we are continually looking at our portfolio. The decision to redevelop the Premier Inn Deansgate Locks site and bring a latest generation Premier Inn hotel to First Street reflects this.
“Working with Ask and its partners, we are able to increase the number of Premier Inn bedrooms in the popular micro-location and bring our latest format to the area. It’s an excellent opportunity to improve our portfolio in the city.”

Deloitte advise on planning for the project and DWF were Whitbread’s legal advisor on the transactions.

An updated masterplan for the First Street area was approved by Manchester City Council last year and will see Ask and its backers develop up to 1m sq ft of offices at First Street. The estate is home to the Innside Manchester hotel, a 279-room Vita Student scheme, a 700-space Q-Park, the Home arts venue and a host of bars, leisure operators and restaurants.