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Aviva Forward Fund First 'Square Half Mile' Office Scheme For A Decade

Oddfellows House transformed into Eleven York Street, Manchester

Aviva Investors is to forward fund the development of Eleven York Street, Manchester, the first office-led development in the 'Square Half Mile' historic office district in more than a decade.

Aviva have acquired the freehold interest in the site from Kier Property, the development arm of Kier Group. Kier Property and Aviva Investors will work in partnership to deliver the 85K SF speculative office development.

The development of the Oddfellows House site has been a long time coming: the building has changed hands, seen various development proposals, and missed three property cycles since it was first sold in 2000 by the Oddfellows themselves — the Manchester Unity Friendly Society — for £6M to Xerox Pension Fund managed by Aberdeen Asset Management. Kier acquired the site from Aberdeen in 2016.

King Street, heart of the Square Half Mile historic office district

The Square Half Mile dominated the Manchester office market until the completion in the mid-1990s of the Barbirolli Square office schemes. The once-prime addresses of Spring Gardens, York Street and Fountain Street have seen very little new speculative development since the fast-expanding market has migrated north, south, east and west.

The Eleven York Street project, which is due to complete in the fourth quarter of 2019, adds to an Aviva Investors’ Manchester portfolio which includes 201 Deansgate and 55 Spring Gardens, 11 Portland St. and the Corn Exchange.

Aviva says it "expects to continue to further build on this commitment to the region during 2018."

“Eleven York Street is the only Grade A office building to be developed in the central core of Manchester since the last cycle," OBI Property Director Will Lewis said. "We have carefully considered the development pipeline and due to its location and with diminishing levels of prime Grade-A space, we are perfectly placed to secure those occupiers looking for best-in-class accommodation and a long-term partner in Aviva Investors."

CBRE advised Kier Developments. OBI advised Aviva Investors.