1. Planning granted for 75 Mosley Street

    OBI Property has confirmed planning permission has been granted by Manchester City Council to London based real estate investor and developer Boultbee Brooks Real Estate (BBRE) which will see 67-75 Mosley Street transformed into high quality office space with new retail/leisure opportunities.

    The 66,047 sq ft development is being project managed by OBI Property and designed by PRP.  The application brings the two buildings together into one address – 75 Mosley Street.  Access to the offices will be via a new central reception and a new 7,189 sq ft seventh floor will span across both buildings and includes a small terrace.

    Roger James, BBRE Development Director said: “We’re very pleased to have been granted planning permission for 75 Mosley Street.  It is a very exciting development which will bring new life to the buildings and will continue our investment and commitment to schemes in Manchester City Centre.”

    At ground level, the Bank of China which occupies 2,788 sq ft at 67 Mosley Street will remain; BBRE has also recently secured a new lease to China Visa Services which is set to take the adjacent 2,549 sq ft unit fronting on to Mosley Street.  Two new retail/leisure spaces of 3,512 sq ft and 4,081 sq ft will be created on the Nicholas Street side of 75 Mosley Street, facing the art gallery.

    Oliver Thomas, Building Consultancy at OBI Property, said: “75 Mosley Street is an exciting project, bringing forward over 66,000 sq ft of office and leisure space which will stand apart from other Manchester schemes.  Mosley Street is an important historical artery in the City, linking Piccadilly to St Peter’s Square.  The development has already received very positive interest for both the retail and office space.”

    The offices above will be refurbished to a Cat A specification and will include exposed services.  The East Wing (formerly 73 Mosley Street) will comprise 17,050 sq ft over 5 floors, while there will be 35,401 sq ft of offices over 7 floors in the West Wing (formerly 75 Mosley Street) boasting a fully glazed penthouse office suite spanning over both buildings.

    The exterior of 73 Mosley Street will be removed and replaced with a new anthracite zinc façade and will include floor to ceiling height windows while the original Portland Stone exterior of 75 Mosley Street will be fully repaired and restored.

    Fiona Sadler, Associate, PRP said:  “75 Mosley Street is a truly individual building in Manchester, built in 1964.  Its Portland Stone façade is wonderful and we’re really pleased we are able to repair and restore it as part of the development.”

    Zerum provided planning advice, the other design team members alongside PRP are: structural engineers Tier; services engineers Reds and Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture.  Work should start on site in autumn 2016 and be complete for summer 2017.

    Diane Ellis, Associate Planner, Zerum said:  “We have pushed to ensure that these buildings can reach their true potential working closely with BBRE, the design team and with Manchester City Council’s planning team.  This is great news for the developing story along Mosley Street and we look forward to seeing the finished product in 2017.”

    BBRE has invested £28 million into the Manchester City office market.  BBRE is a privately owned property company with a development and investment portfolio valued at £350 million.  The company is a major investor in London, South East and key regional cities.

    The news was featured in Manchester Evening News, Place North West and Insider.

  2. The Elliot Group select urbanbubble to manage North West portfolio

    Award winning residential managing agent and PRS specialist, urbanbubble, has been selected over several agents to manage and let the whole of the Elliot Group’s residential portfolio, including Liverpool’s latest waterfront scheme, Baltic Tower.

    Baltic Tower is a £50million “mid-rise” development on Liverpool’s southern gateway and will be formed over two 14 and 15 storey blocks, comprising 257 apartments, an onsite gym, outdoor spa and secure basement parking.

    The appointment sees urbanbubble take on all aspects of the property, facility and tenant management of the residential portfolio, which includes The Residence, a £70million luxury residential development located on the River Irwell in Manchester. In addition to eight schemes across Liverpool, one being the recently completed ‘Artesian’ with 99 apartments and offices, the instruction includes Victoria House in Leeds with 106 apartments planned for delivery in late 2017.

    Elliot Lawless, director, Elliot Group, said: “The Elliot Group is investing more than £450million into 15 projects over the next three years and after meticulously reviewing urbanbubble’s processes, service and success rate of their portfolio, we knew they were the right partner for our residential pipeline.”

    Summer 2016 will see urbanbubble, awarded “Best Managing Agent” earlier in the year at the North West Residential Property Awards, open an office in Liverpool. This follows the move of its main operation at the end of 2015, when urbanbubble signed up to a 10 year lease for a 6,000 sq ft facility in Sevendale House, in the heart of Manchester’s Norther Quarter.

    Ian Chatburn, Director of Sales and Lettings, urbanbubble, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Elliot Group and to be appointed to their residential portfolio in such a significant manner. To work with a firm making such a major investment into residential development in the region is a real boost to the increasing sales and lettings division of urbanbubble.”

    Michael Howard, Managing Director, urbanbubble said:  “Liverpool is booming and has become an active city in contributing to the growth of The Northern Powerhouse, as was very evident in a strong 2016 MIPIM for the city. We are delighted to be appointed by Elliot and his team. The wholesale instruction for urbanbubble to manage the property, facilities and lettings of their 2100 unit portfolio is a huge pat on the back for everyone here at urbanbubble.

    “While we can easily manage the portfolio from a little down the M62, we thought this was the right time to open our Liverpool office. We’ll be out looking for the right individual to lead this team imminently and we expect to be employing near 30 new members to our team split between property and office based roles.

    “Throughout 2015, urbanbubble heavily invested in systems, process design and training and development for our people. We’re committed to placing customers at the heart of everything we do. Now, with the dawn of Build to Rent and PRS, urbanbubble are at the forefront of this new age of residential management and we’re delighted to be working with a developer who shares the same vision and is onsite delivering such a significant portfolio across the powerhouse”

    urbanbubble, based in Sevendale House, Manchester city centre is a residential property managing agent, which was set up by Michael Howard in 2008.  The company cares for 95 residential estates with 6,000 homes in the North West.  The team of 70 provides a range of services to residents, landlords and developers including block, estate and facilities management, PRS asset management, development consultation and appraisals, maintenance and repairs, and sales and lettings.

    The Manchester Evening NewsPlace North West and Insider featured the news.

  3. OBI examines 20yrs of Manchester’s growth

    Manchester property consultancy OBI Property created a short documentary examining the growth of the city since 15 June 1996, the day an IRA bomb ripped through the heart of Manchester. As part of its’ Beyond the Bomb project, OBI also carried out a survey on the main aspects of the city’s growth over 20 years, and convened a round table debate featuring key individuals.


    “Manchester must continue to lead on innovation”

    The Beyond the Bomb documentary includes exclusive contributions from property figures Tom Bloxham MBE (Urban Splash) and Mike Ingall (Allied London), along with local writer Phil Griffin and Michael Taylor, who as editor of business magazine Insider between 2000 and 2011 observed the city’s growth at close quarters. There’s also insight into where the city goes from here from business leaders including Rob Cotton of NCC Group.

    Watch the documentary here –


    Manchester’s people the unsung heroes, survey finds

    When asked to name the unsung heroes of the past twenty years, Manchester’s people were named most frequently by OBI’s survey respondents, with some respondents mentioning the construction workers working in all weathers and the owners of the small, independent businesses who create the jobs and bring people to the City.

    Looking to the future, the survey asked what would be the most important development for the next phase of Manchester’s growth.  Airport City polled the highest with 38%; closely followed by St Johns (31%) and the growth of the science sector with 20%.

    Lynda Shillaw, Manchester Airport Group, chief executive for property said: “We’re building positive momentum at Airport City Manchester and I’m pleased the business community of Manchester has recognised the role Airport City will play in the future growth of the city.”

    The survey asked people to choose the best building, best regeneration project and which property business has made the biggest impact on the City since the bomb. Urban Splash polled 43% of the property business votes, with Allied London in 2nd place (35%), Bruntwood 3rd (22%) and the Co-operative 4th (11%).

    Tom Bloxham MBE, chairman Urban Splash and features in the documentary said: “I am pleasantly surprised and absolutely delighted our peers have recognised Urban Splash as the property business which has made the biggest impact in Manchester of the last 20 years.  It’s been a real privilege to work in such a fantastic city with so many other great developers.”

    Beetham Tower came out as the best single building with 33% of the votes, followed by the Civil Justice Centre (27%), Urbis – now the National Football Museum (23%) and the City of Manchester Stadium – now the Etihad (14%).

    Spinningfields was named best regeneration project. Other key results include the rise of the Northern Quarter as the most important leisure development; the BBC’s relocation north as the most important cultural milestone; and the Commonwealth Games the key sporting moment.


    Debate urges Manchester to keep challenging and changing

    The clear message from OBI’s roundtable debate was Manchester should continue to challenge convention and embrace criticism in order to capitalise on the achievements of the last 20 years.

    Jon Drape, managing director at Ground Control Productions, said: “At the time of the bomb, I was managing the Hacienda and Dry Bar. I remember that right away people in the city’s leisure economy started to speak together about what the city could do. Culture from a very early stage was a key part of the city’s post-1996 plan.”

    That cultural growth, ultimately leading to the establishment of the Manchester International Festival, had its roots in the building of the Bridgewater Hall, which held its first performance in 1996.

    Janine Watson, at that time a Manchester Evening News reporter and later a senior figure at Manchester City Council, said: “The development of the Bridgewater Hall showed that this was a city prepared to invest in world-class cultural facilities to drive its economy – that was groundbreaking at the time. And all the businesses involved in the reconstruction task force sent their bright, promising youngsters – it felt important. There was a real sense of possibility.”

    “The swathes of regeneration and physical change in the city since 1996 can be attributed to the civic leadership’s ability to channel that spirit,” said David Lathwood, international director at JLL:

    “Everything we’ve seen developed since is the proud legacy of the political will that was being built up through the 1990s. That political will enthused people involved in property. Manchester never let go of that spirit of optimism. Investors come into Piccadilly and feel something that they don’t get in Birmingham, Leeds or Liverpool.”

    Will Lewis, co-founder, OBI Property, said: “I came to the city in 2005 because it felt energetic, the obvious choice. What we’ve seen in the last few years is that developers and landlords have grown in confidence. The challenge for Manchester now is to keep adapting, because business has moved beyond the conventional ways property has been used.”

    Nick Johnson, one of a grouping of bar and music industry entrepreneurs, property developers and architects who influenced change in the city, leading to him becoming chairman of Marketing Manchester in the mid-2000s, said:  “What an atrocity like the 1996 bomb does is unite people. The city at the time was open to being self-critical, to listen to the alternative ideas of those who disagreed, and then channelling those thoughts. That spirit is vital if Manchester is to make itself a truly world-class international city.”

  4. Ellie Philcox joins EKPS

    Ellie Philcox has joined Euan Kellie Property Solutions (EKPS) as associate director. Ellie joins the planning firm from Deloitte (formerly Drivers Jonas) with over 10 years’ experience in the planning profession. Ellie has joined EKPS to assist with their growing workload, and to provide retail planning expertise.

    Euan said: “I am absolutely delighted that Ellie is joining us. It is an indication of the strength of the business – and the direction in which we are taking it – that we have been able to recruit someone of Ellie’s calibre and experience, and shows our continued commitment to providing the very highest level of consultancy advice to all of our clients.”

    Ellie said: “I am hugely excited to be part of the dynamic planning team at EKPS, and look forward to bringing my experience to a range of projects in Greater Manchester and across the North West, and to helping Euan and Kelly to continue to grow the business.”

    Euan Kellie Property Solutions was set up in 2009 and provides an innovative and commercial approach to clients’ land and property needs through the planning process.  They have recently secured planning permission for development at The Crescent in Salford, the second large-scale PRS development planned by Bet Fred owner, Fred Done, and the mixed-use ‘Astley Point’ development in Wigan.

    Ellie’s appointment was covered Place North West, Insider and the Businessdesk.

  5. Lisa joins Inner City Music board

    Inner City Music, the charity that owns and operates Manchester’s Band on the Wall, has announced Lisa Ashurst, director, Ashurst Communications and Julian Curnuck, finance director, Urban Splash have joined the board as trustees.

    Julian, who has been finance director at Urban Splash for 11 years, joined Inner City Music last month.  His main focus will be to provide strategic advice and guidance as it develops plans which could see Band on the Wall increase its capacity by approximately 45% (to 500 people) and importantly, provide more learning and participation facilities for its education and charitable activities delivered through its partner charity Brighter Sound.

    Julian said: “I am delighted to join Inner City Music at this exciting time as we look to expand the capacity and facilities at Band on the Wall.  With major developments taking place around the venue, in the next few years we’ll see the area come into its own and Band on the Wall will be right at the heart of it.”

    Lisa is providing strategic communications advice to Inner City Music and helping to build relationships with local businesses and the City.

    Lisa said:  “It’s a real honour for me to be involved with Inner City Music.  Band on the Wall is far more than just a music venue. It has an amazing legacy but, importantly, has a very exciting future.  By developing the facilities at Band on the Wall, more people will be able to take part in the hugely successful education and development programmes run by our partners Brighter Sound.”

    Inner City Music’s vision is to enrich people’s lives by enabling them to access, enjoy and participate in the best music from many cultures in a stimulating, social environment. The extension of Band on the Wall will help provide an integrated education programme, developing the venue as centre for creative music making, music technology and multimedia.

    Gavin Sharp, CEO, Inner City Music said: “Lisa and Julian join the Inner City Music board of trustees at a very exciting time for us.  Their skills and experience will be invaluable to us as we move forward with our plans to develop Band on the Wall.”

    Band on the Wall has been one of the cornerstones of Manchester’s thriving music scene for the greater part of the last century.  Band on the Wall exists to promote equality and diversity through music and bring the best music from around the world to the stage – both at the Manchester venue and across the country through its touring schemes.

    Inner City Music Ltd is supported by Arts Council England and Manchester City Council.

    Lisa and Julian’s appointment was covered by Manchester Evening News.