Following turbulence wrought on the market by COVID-19, JLL North West’s lead director, Steve Hogg, has revealed that the real estate consultancy is looking ahead to new hires – and is feeling ‘cautiously optimistic’ about market recovery.
Following a move into its WELL Platinum-designed headquarters in Landmark, St. Peter’s Square last year, the firm has experienced sustained growth – which has seen it strengthen its teams in its North West office and make hires and internal appointments.
Andy Rands will migrate to JLL North West’s capital markets team, following a 7-year stint in its office agency team which he joined as a graduate in 2014. Andy will be working alongside James Porteous and Ed Blood, as JLL look to grow its reach in the sector.
Replacing Andy will be Rhys Evans, who joins the office team as associate director following a 7-year tenure at Avison Young.
Further hires include Anna Mackay, joining the business space team as a surveying executive, and Tom Smith – formerly of Lambert Smith Hampton – in the building consultancy team as senior surveyor.
Steve Hogg, JLL North West’s lead director and head of residential UK regions, said: “It’s brilliant to be able to bolster the team with these strategic hires, I’m particularly excited about Andy’s appointment within the capital markets team; the availability of capital is at levels we have not seen for a long time, so the ability to be able to advise clients with more resource will put us at the forefront as the market returns.
“We’ve specifically recruited in our offices department, and Rhys joins the team at a pivotal time. In 2020, JLL North West was responsible for 40% of all office space transacted in Manchester, including the largest deal of the year with Muse’s One Bailey to BT. This will be a key focus area of the business as we now look towards our recovery.
Elsewhere in the business, JLL North West was responsible for one of Manchester city centre’s biggest land deals of the year, acting in the sale of the iconic Renaissance hotel to Property Alliance Group.
JLL received 11 detailed bids for the site, exceeding £250m total, which Steve believes is indicative of Manchester’s bright future.
“The process highlighted that international interest in Manchester has by no means slowed; we received bids from the UAE, the USA, and further afield,” he added. “The city region is an enduringly attractive option for investors, and we feel confident that the 2021 ‘build-back’ will be both quick and strong, solidifying its standing on the global stage.”
The consultancy’s North West industrial team also made positive strides in the big shed market, as the industrial and logistics sector continues to thrive. According to statistics from JLL, Grade A take-up in 2020 in the region was 47% above the 10-year average at c.3.8m sq ft.
“Several large ‘big box’ sites called in by the Secretary of State are slated to provide c.6m sq ft of development pipeline for the region, promoting further economic growth,” added Steve.
“Prime rents have increased and there is persistent demand for space in this sector, so again, this will be a major focus area for JLL North West as we emerge from the other side of the pandemic.”
Steve concluded: “I’m very proud of how the whole team pulled together and performed in the face of a very tough year, and we feel poised and prepared for our next phase of growth – especially now that we’ve relocated to our new North West HQ in Landmark, which has been designed specifically to support and inspire our teams.
“I’m confident and cautiously optimistic about our roadmap to recovery. We’re looking forward to what lies ahead.”