Hunter’s £10m Exchange Quay transformation completes

Hunter Real Estate Investment Managers (Hunter) has announced completion of its £10M investment into the 433,637 sq ft Exchange Quay office development in Salford Quays.

Exchange Quay was acquired by Hunter in November 2013 on behalf of a North American institutional investor and a £10M investment programme has been undertaken to upgrade the six office buildings to Grade A specification, extensively remodel the whole public realm and introduce a range of occupier facilities.

The new Grade A office space will be a welcome addition to the North West office market which is experiencing a shortage of quality offices in key locations. Since this time last year, Exchange Quay’s agency team of Canning O’Neill and Savills has already secured 10 deals totalling almost 60,000 sq ft to relocating and existing occupiers and anticipates strong interest now that the results of Hunter’s investment can be showcased.

A key part of the extensive works is the creation of a vibrant working environment through the introduction of a range of occupier facilities and it was recently announced that Hunter has appointed award-winning site services partner, Elior, on a five year contract to introduce and manage the major new amenity offering at Exchange Quay. The new occupier facilities incorporate a new restaurant with live cooking theatre, a Costa Coffee branded coffee outlet and a Londis Retail Shop. As part of its contract Elior will also provide a hospitality service to Exchange Quay, which will cater for meetings, events and functions. An on-site Post Office will also open this year.

Jeremy Birkett-Jones, investment director at Hunter, said; “Right from the outset we recognised the immense potential in Exchange Quay, which was once regarded as the ‘Canary Wharf of the North’. It was clear to us that such a prestigious scheme in an unrivalled location in the North West would respond to a dedicated investment programme to modernise the office accommodation and create a whole new environment. We have engaged with all the relevant local bodies and worked closely with our design, site and agency teams since the acquisition to ensure that the finished product matches the market demand and this has already been confirmed in the initial lettings we have secured prior to completion of the works.”

James Evans, Director of office agency at Savills, continues; “The Grade A offices at Exchange Quay are hitting the North West office market at just the right time, as occupier confidence has returned and supply is diminishing. The transformation has been about so much more than just the office suites, it has addressed the key factor on occupiers’ wish lists – the provision of the right environment for staff and visitors. This, coupled with the accessibility via road and public transport in addition to extensive on-site car parking, has culminated in a very exciting opportunity for the regional office market.”

Exchange Quay’s six office buildings range from 26,151 sq ft to 116,684 sq ft. The development, which also boasts its own dedicated Metrolink tram stop, is strategically located just off Trafford Road which links Salford Quays to both Manchester City Centre and the major motorway networks via the M602.