220K SF Booking.Com Deal Definitely Not Cancelled
With the international tourist business in free fall and several years of problems ahead, landlords with travel-business tenants have every reason to be fearful.
Yet one of the biggest tourist industry pre-let deals in the UK is definitely still on, Amsterdam-based travel giant Booking Holdings and its soon-to-be landlord, Allied London, said.
Allied London chief executive Mike Ingall is understood to have travelled to Amsterdam to cement arrangements for the completion of building work by March 2021.
Booking.com signed up for 220K SF at Allied London’s Enterprise City tech campus in Manchester in August 2018. The 12-year lease replaces four existing Manchester offices at 201 Deansgate, Sunlight House Quay Street and two outposts at Fountain Street.
Doubts in the city about the deal had been growing as the pandemic’s effect on the travel market became apparent. In April 2020 the pandemic forced parent company Booking Holdings to announce lay-offs and complete a $4B fundraising from bond holders. The Dutch business is expecting the travel market to return to normality in 2022, a prediction regarded as optimistic by some analysts.
Booking.com bookings have fallen by 85% and chief executive Glen Fogel has since called for government aid to prevent the tourism sector stagnating for years.
Despite the industry’s travails, the Manchester deal is still on. “We are absolutely committed to the building and its development," Booking Holdings said in a statement to Bisnow. "As plans currently stand, the office will be complete in 2021 and we [are] aiming to move into the building in 2022.”