Three major grade II-listed Manchester office buildings sold in £119m deal

Northern Quarter building 35 Dale Street – home to Idle Hands coffee shop and fitness studio V1BE – is one of three Grade II-listed offices to be sold in a £119m deal.

Property firm Helical announced it had exchanged contracts on The Powerhouse Portfolio – comprising the three buildings – to real estate funds managed by Pictet Alternative Advisors, S.A and XLB Property.

The portfolio also includes Fourways, a former packing warehouse adjacent to 35 Dale Street, and the Tootal Buildings, which are two interlinked office buildings on Manchester’s Oxford Road corridor offering nearly 250,000 sq ft of office space.

Helical, an office investment and development company for Manchester and London, acquired the Tootal Building assets in 2014, while it acquired 35 Dale Street assets in March 2015 and Fourways in July 2018.

Helical said the net proceeds are at a “marginal premium” to the March and September book values, and will be used for reinvestment into new opportunities and to repay debt.

Matthew Bonning-Snook, Helical’s property director, said: “Having carried out significant enhancement of these assets during our period of ownership we feel the time is right to re-cycle the equity into new opportunities with our focus being on our core Central London market.”

Charlie Baigler, head of acquisitions, real estate at Pictet Alternative Advisors, said the purchase was “landmark” for its investment strategy.

“The Manchester office market has proven to be extremely resilient, with excellent supply and demand fundamentals,” he said.

“Manchester is attracting and retaining talented young professionals, the city is now the largest tech hub in the UK outside of London and is proving to be a significant beneficiary of ‘northshoring’.

“The quality and location of the assets ensures strong downside protection against the anticipated market volatility ahead.

“Our partnership with XLB Property ensures the highest standards in technology enabled property management, with a strong focus on ESG.”

Helical plc was advised jointly by TT&G Partners and CBRE. Pictet Alternative Advisors was advised by Acre Capital Real Estate.

Business Live – North West