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New Funding Means Coventry's 3.2M SF Friargate Might Finally Finish After 21 Years

One Friargate, Coventry, UK, developed by Cannon Kirk
One Friargate Coventry

Coventry City Council is preparing to inject funding into a partnership with Irish developer Cannon Kirk to help realise the £700M Coventry Friargate scheme, the Coventry Telegraph reports.

The arrangement — via a new 50:50 joint venture — will channel £51.2M from the West Midlands Combined Authority to help deliver the next phase, the 136K SF Two Friargate office scheme.

Coventry council said in a statement that it is “preparing to take on 50% of Friargate LLP in order to drive the regeneration of the area forward and ensure that investment into Coventry continues.”

The move comes 12 years after the 2006 agreement between the council and Dublin-based Cannon Kirk to develop the 3.2M SF scheme.

The latest reports said the partnership means the scheme will be completed in 2027 — 21 years afrer the Cannon Kirk arrangement was first revealed.

Cannon Kirk has rejected suggestions that the council’s involvement will help pay debts to Ireland’s "bad bank," the National Asset Management Agency. Cannon Kirk was released from NAMA obligations in June following investment from U.S. private equity firm Oaktree.

The first fruit of what will be a 2.35M SF office element of the Friargate scheme came late last year as construction work completed on the 140K SF One Friargate. Coventry City Council has taken a lease on the entire building and sub-let 22.5K SF to the Financial Ombudsman at a rent reported to be £22/SF, a local record.

As well as office space the 37-acre development will include 215K SF of retail and dining, 450K SF of hotels and 400 homes.