1. Tim Groom Architects adds to team

    Tim Groom Architects announced David Machell has joined the Manchester based practice as an architectural assistant.

    David is a graduate of the University of Liverpool where he received a First Class Master of Architecture degree and was presented with the Hays Practice Design Prize.  He joins the team having recently returned from travelling around New Zealand, Japan and Vietnam.

    David will be working on a variety of projects including a housing development in Cheshire and a newly commissioned £30M mixed use development in Liverpool.

    The new appointment follows a busy year for the practice which has seen recent planning approvals for a boutique hotel at Bruntwood Hall in Cheshire and a 121 studio apartment development for students at Trafford Street in Chester.  Tim Groom Architects is also working on a number of residential commissions in Manchester City Centre including a 14 storey PRS scheme for Mulbury Homes on Great Ancoats Street.

    Tim Groom said: “We met David just before he embarked upon his travels and after keeping in touch over the last few months I’m pleased to now have him joining the team. Our order book is continuing to expand and it’s great to have someone of his calibre to assist us in delivering the exciting projects we are working on.”

    David’s appointment follows three new starters who joined Tim Groom Architects in April this year, taking the number of people employed by the company to 11.

    The story featured in Place North West.

  2. The LADbible expands its Manchester office

    OBI Property has announced it has advised 65twenty, publisher of TheLADbible, on the expansion of its Manchester office located on Dale Street.

    65twenty is one of the fastest-growing social media publishers in the UK, with flagship brands including TheLADbible, TheSPORTbible, The ODDSbible and Pretty52. Described by the Financial Times as “a journalistic Jagerbomb,” it has become a digital publishing phenomena in under four years, providing news, entertainment and humour, reaching more than 150 million people a month.

    The business, launched by Alex Solomou and Arian Kalantari, needed more space to accommodate a new studio as the business continues to grow.  OBI Property negotiated the deal to take additional space in their current building in the Northern Quarter instead of the business having to completely relocate.

    OBI Property also advised the company on finding and securing its Shoreditch office on Jacks Place, Aldgate in the capital with the legals completed by Cheshire based law firm Myerson.

    Arian Kalantari co-founder of The Lad Bible said:  “Having had a great experience working with OBI Property for our London office search, it was the natural choice to appoint the team for our Manchester requirement. Adding new studio space to our editorial office is a step-change for our business. The investment will allow us to work with, and support, the Manchester creative community in a completely new way.

    He continued: “We are delighted that we were able to expand within our existing premises and the OBI team made the negotiation process straight forward and hassle free”.

    Andrew Cowell, transactions and asset management, OBI Property said: “Working with The Lad Bible on both London and Manchester transactions has been a great experience.  It’s fantastic to see a Manchester tech business thriving and growing.  The fact we’ve been able to turn both deals around quickly shows how OBI delivers quickly and effectively to this incredibly fast moving and growing sector.”

    The news was featured in the Manchester Evening News and Prolific North.

  3. Our clients included in Insider Women in Business

    We are thrilled to see Charmaine O’Connor, chief executive of PP O’Connor featured at No.60 in the Insider annual Women 100 list.  Charmaine was promoted to chief executive at Salford based, PP O’Connor at the end of last year, having been commercial director at the family firm since 2003, when turnover was £2.5 million. Since then, with Charmaine’s drive and skills the company has grown at a considered and steady rate and turnover to the last financial year end was £21 million.

    Charmaine is at the forefront of leading the company’s business strategy. She is committed to establishing long term relationships with clients and partners, and is committed (along with all her colleagues) to placing health and safety, and training at the very core of the business.

    PP O’Connor specialises in demolition, bulk earth works, civil engineering and also building and has been established for over 50 years.

    Lesley Sharrock who is commercial director at blinds and awnings designers and manufacturers James Robertshaw and Lisa are included in the Women of Influence list.


  4. Tim Groom Architects gain planning for Bruntwood Hall

    On Tuesday 14 July Manchester based architecture firm, Tim Groom Architects received the planning permission from Stockport Council to convert Bruntwood Hall, situated in Bruntwood Park, Cheadle, into a boutique hotel on behalf of Oddfellows Hotels.

    The proposal involves restoring and converting the 19th Century mansion to create 22 bedrooms, a restaurant, cocktail bar and private dining rooms.  There are also plans to incorporate a spa facility.  The value of the project is approximately £3.5 million and it is planned to open in spring 2016.

    This will be the first time the impressive building based in the centre of Bruntwood Park will be a hotel. Its previous uses have included a Town Hall, a racehorse stud farm and more recently home to a filming company.  Bruntwood Park has over 100 acres of sprawling parkland which includes ponds, waterways and mature woodland.

    Oddfellows Hotels already own a successful boutique hotel in Chester and have been on the lookout for a sister hotel for over a year. The boutique hotel group sought a property with charm, character and, most importantly, a story that could capture a guest’s imagination.

    Tim Groom, director, Tim Groom Architects said:  “Getting the approval has been a great team effort from all involved. The hotel will be a fabulous addition to the Park and will become a real destination. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate what we can do with existing buildings and we’re looking forward to starting the detail design and getting the building open. It’s the first of many projects we are looking at working with in collaboration with SpaceInvader Design.”

    Jonathan Slater, Oddfellows Hotels said: “We are truly excited about the process of sympathetically converting beautiful Bruntwood Hall.  As with our Chester hotel, the focus will be on restoring the building’s original features, keeping a true sense of history and incorporating the signature touch of playful design that characterises an Oddfellows hotel.  Tim Groom Architects and SpaceInvader designers, both home grown Manchester firms, are part of the team involved in the project.

    “Demand has been very high for our Chester hotel and our guests are always asking if we have any other locations, so as a business, we feel this is the right time to grow and evolve. We are just thrilled to be able to add Bruntwood Hall, which will be known as Oddfellows on the Park, to the family.”

    The announcement was featured in Manchester Evening News, Place North West, Insider and the Businessdesk.

  5. M20 Group sells Manchester buildings to Boultbee Brooks Real Estate

    M20 Property Group has announced it has sold three key city centre buildings to London based real estate investor and developer Boultbee Brooks Real Estate (BBRE) in deal worth £16 million.

    OBI Property advised M20 on the off market disposal of 67-75 Mosley Street, 79 Mosley Street and Castlefield Chapel, the total size of all three buildings is approximately 90,000 sq ft.  The two buildings on Mosley Street will be transformed by BBRE into new work space and will significantly add to the rapidly changing offer in St Peter’s Square.  Boutique law firm, Pannone Corporate Solicitors occupy the Grade II Listed Castlefield Chapel.

    M20 Property, owned by Peter Quinn, Matthew Stone and Nils Wager was established in 2008 and has been particularly active in the acquisition of challenging buildings.

    Matthew Stone said: “We are pleased that the tenacity of our extremely knowledgeable team combined with our strong cash position has enabled us to strategically identify assets where we can add value and maximise our position and we exit these assets at a point that exceeds our targeted returns.  We are now focused on new opportunities to add to our existing portfolio and reach our target of £100 million of assets by 2018.”

    Andrew Cowell, transactions and asset management, OBI Property said: “We take great pride on how we look after our clients buildings and although we were very close to pushing the button on the refurbishment projects of the two Mosley Street buildings, this off market approach enabled M20 to maximise returns in a short period of time and to now focus on new opportunities.  OBI Property specialise in converting off market transactions and we are delighted with the end result”.

    The deal takes the total investment this year by BBRE into the Manchester city office market to £28 million.  BBRE is a privately owned property company with a development and investment portfolio valued at approximately £350 million.  The company, which is a major landlord in the Shoreditch and Clerkenwell areas of London where many of its tenants are fast growing digital and creative firms, also recently purchased 30 Brown Street and Croxley House in Manchester.

    James Whitcher, BBRE said: “We are delighted to have acquired some of the most exciting refurbishment opportunities available in Manchester and the portfolio fits perfectly with 30 Brown Street and Croxley House.  We now have a critical mass of assets in the city to replicate our London model and become one of the city’s most successful providers of quality workspace.”

    BBRE was advised by Rob Cannock at Aurum Real Estate.  Legal advice was provided by Darren Hamer of DWF who advised M20 and BBRE were represented by Michelmores.

    OBI Property was set up in 2010 and is a commercial real estate firm which provides innovative solutions to its landlord and occupier clients.

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