Ask Real Estate, in a joint venture with the Richardson family and PATRIZIA, has exchanged a pre-let agreement with Whitbread for a 200-bedroom Premier Inn hotel at First Street, Manchester.
The hotel operator will occupy the top five floors of a new 16 storey mixed-use development which secured planning permission in December 2018. Construction of the new building will start in summer 2019 with completion due in early 2021.
The deal will simultaneously see a second joint venture partnership between Ask Real Estate, the Richardson family and Whitbread bring forward a planning application to redevelop the existing Premier Inn Deansgate Locks hotel site, adjacent to First Street, with a separate c.480,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme. A planning application for the development is expected to be submitted to Manchester City Council in May 2019.
Premier Inn is the first confirmed tenant in the new building at First Street and will occupy floors 12-16, with 160,000 sq ft of Grade A offices on floors 1-11. The new building will also feature winter gardens on each of the office floors, replicating the popular winter gardens which are a key feature of No8, together with open staircases to connect floors and a triple height reception space for workers. The hotel will benefit from a separate entrance and lift core.
BAM Construction has been confirmed as the preferred construction partner for the new building which will be the fourth phase of development at the 20-acre First Street scheme. HOME anchors the culture and amenity phase which completed in April 2015 and sits alongside the 180,000 sq ft N01 and 170,000 sq ft N08 office buildings, where occupiers include Auto Trader, Jacobs Engineering, AmazeRealise, Ford Credit, WSP and Gazprom.
Commenting on the announcement 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 on-going 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 of Premier Inn hotels to ensure we are in the best possible locations and provide a consistently high-quality experience for our guests.
“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 Real Estate 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 and be part of one of Manchester’s most successful business and leisure destinations.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, commented: “First Street is located at this important gateway into Manchester and as the estate continues to evolve it will further connect the city centre with the Oxford Road Corridor and University district.
“As well as helping to further realise our vision for First Street, we are pleased that this announcement will also lead to the redevelopment of the existing Premier Inn site.
“The ambition to create a cultural hub for Manchester, bringing up to 10,000 jobs to the city, will be further enhanced by this new phase of first class commercial development.”
The architect for the building is Jon Matthews Architects. Deloitte advised 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 Real Estate, the Richardson family and PATRIZIA 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.