We Love Manchester Offices, But BTR Skyscrapers Not So Much
Two big funding deals have given a £200M-plus vote of confidence to Manchester's office market. But according to Tristan Capital Partners — which is backing Ask Real Estate's £70M development of the 166K SF 100 Embankment, Salford Greengate — they are giving the city's build-to-rent residential apartment market a wide berth.
The Tristan deal came as Aviva Investors forward-funded the £113M Two New Bailey office scheme developed by English Cities Fund. The 187K SF block across the river from Spinningfields is due for completion by late 2019 following a pre-let to Salford council.
Tristan Capital Partners Senior Partner Cameron Spry said he has an appetite for more office investment in Manchester — but the fast-moving BTR residential sector does not appeal. The large number of new BTR skyscraper plans — hailed by some as a sign of the market's confidence — are among the things putting Tristan off investing.
"We've looked in the past at Manchester BTR, and it is interesting at one level," Spry told Bisnow. "But I'm a bit cautious on the amount of potential supply. It is still a relatively new market, and relatively new markets suffer from an over-exuberant phase. I'm not saying that's happening now, but it is just something to watch out for."
"The city council is ready to consent to very tall buildings in a way other cities are not, which means there is potential for more supply simply because of the height — and that gives us pause for thought."