Hunter Real Estate Investment Managers has announced that the 94,037 sq ft Number 4 office building at its Exchange Quay office development in Salford Quays will become the new headquarters of AJ Bell, one of the UK’s largest providers of online investment platforms and stock broking services.
Exchange Quay agents are Canning O’Neill and Savills. AJ Bell has been represented by Altus Edwin Hill.
AJ Bell was established in 1995 and is one of the fastest growing investment companies in the UK. The firm is relocating circa 450 staff from its Manchester Headquarters in Trafford House to Exchange Quay, which will give it further space to support its continued growth strategy. The company, which has more than 131,100 customers and assets under administration exceeding £28 billion, also owns a specialist financial publishing business called AJ Bell Media in London, as well as a stockbroking business in Tunbridge Wells.
The deal continues a successful year for Hunter’s Exchange Quay development, almost doubling the existing 100,000 sq ft of lettings secured in the last 12 months at the high-profile development which has undergone a £10M investment programme to upgrade the six office buildings to Grade A specification, in addition to extensive remodelling of the public realm and the introduction of many occupier facilities including a Costa Coffee outlet and Londis Retail Shop which are managed by award-winning site services partner, Elior.
AJ Bell follows a long line of occupiers committing to the new-look development since the refurbishment works commenced including Space & Time Media , insurance firm 1st Central, American multinational conglomerate corporation 3M, Beauty Bay, Bo-Concepts, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), Sage, GlaxoSmithkline Research & Development Ltd (GSK), Boxchange Associates, Wurth Electronics, North West Employers, international consultancy RPS and marketing agency K2L.
Jeremy Birkett-Jones, investment director at Hunter, said; “AJ Bell’s commitment to Exchange Quay is a real coup for the development and, along with the recent lettings success, demonstrates that the investment programme has succeeded in bringing this extensive development back to life. We have listened closely to our occupiers and the market and this has enabled us to create an environment that companies want to be a part of. We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved and look forward to completing deals on the remaining space.”
Andy Bell, chief executive at AJ Bell, continued; “Our growth has been driven by our easy to use low cost investment platform. The move to Exchange Quay will provide a modern and vibrant working environment for our people and will support our future growth ambitions.”
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.
The commercial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.