Developer Trilogy Property and technology investor Blenheim Chalcot have formed a joint venture to create a mix of accelerator and office space in a recently acquired listed building in Manchester city centre.

The pair have bought 101 Princess Street, a grade II-listed seven-storey building in the Gay Village totalling almost 40,000 sq ft, from Lone Star for more than £5m. They are planning to create a mix of accelerator and office space initially for Blenheim Chalcot-owned ventures but with “potential to widen the occupier base to other like-minded businesses”.

The building, recently refurbished to a loft-style specification with stripped oak flooring and cast-iron columns, is 70 per cent let to tenants including nightclubs Satans Hollow and Cruz 101, an online gaming company, and a marketing agency. Two floors remain vacant.

The joint venture is aiming to “foster a creative and digital community where technology-enabled growth companies can take space in Blenheim Chalcot’s new Accelerate Places venue” as well as offering more permanent space to established or growing businesses on other levels of the building.

Accelerate Places, which is backed by Blenheim Chalcot, provides flexible workspace for high-growth companies in the UK outside the technology investor’s stable.

Robert Wolstenholme, managing director of Trilogy Property, said: “This is an entirely new way of providing workspace for creative, digital and innovation-led businesses.

”By working directly with a venture builder like Blenheim Chalcot, we can create a collaborative community of innovation businesses, underpinned by solid investor backing and certainty of occupational demand. We’ll also be bringing jobs to Manchester and stimulating local start-ups and high-growth companies.”

Blenheim Chalcot, which describes itself as a venture builder, owns equity in a number of technology businesses. It currently owns or invests in 23 companies with more than 3,000 employees and is active in sectors including IT services and outsourcing, financial services, education, travel, software, sport and media.

Manoj Badale, co-founder of Blenheim Chalcot, said: “Our move into property investment means we can provide great office environments for businesses and retain property value as investors.

”We’re in the tech business and we know what tech businesses want. Trilogy is an ideal partner as they are pioneers in workspace development who share our insight and ambition.”

101 Princess Street will be Trilogy Property’s third major venture since former Resolution Property director Robert Wolstenholme formed the company last year. Trilogy’s other projects include the Great Northern Warehouse scheme with Hong Kong-based partner Peterson Group, where master-planning is underway to reinvent the site as a world-class residential, commercial and leisure quarter for Manchester.

Trilogy, with funding partner LaSalle Investment Management, is also in the initial stages of development at East India Dock in London’s Docklands, where it has plans to reposition a 1990s office campus as a new hub for the innovation, co-working, cultural and tech sectors.

Trilogy and Blenheim Chalcot are currently exploring opportunities to open similar hybrid accelerator/office spaces in other UK cities.

Metis Real Estate advised the joint venture, while CBRE advised the vendors.
— https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/northwest/jv-formed-to-redevelop-listed-manchester-building

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