Aviva Investors has agreed a long-term deal with property investment and development company Allied London to create Enterprise City at St. John’s in Manchester.
Built on the former site of Granada television studios, immediately south of Spinningfields, Allied London and Aviva Investors will combine their experience and expertise to establish one of the UK’s leading digital, media and enterprise clusters.
Once completed, Enterprise City will consist of more than one million sq ft commercial mixed-use space, including workspace, TV and film studios, hotel/leisure and various property infrastructure across 10 buildings.
The development has already attracted tech giant Booking.com, which will be the anchor tenant at Enterprise City, taking 220,000 sq ft at the Manchester Goods Yard buildings.
“Enterprise City is a concept Allied London has envisioned from scratch,” said CEO Michael Ingall.
“Within 18 months we have created something of significant value and importance for both Manchester’s business community and the wider north-west region.
“The transformation, re-adaption of old disused commercial buildings and a dynamic masterplan for new buildings was the catalyst for creating a new enterprise community for use by today’s modern industry.”
Aviva Investors will initially commit £300 million to the project, which will be a key new addition to its existing Manchester real estate portfolio of almost £450 million.
Daniel McHugh, managing director of real estate investments at Aviva Investors, added: “This deal is fully aligned with our focused investment strategy and demonstrates our scale and expertise to fulfil large conviction-led investments in high-quality real estate assets.
“This scheme will deliver modern, vibrant space for enterprise and creative industries to thrive. We look forward to working closely with Allied London, Manchester City Council and regional stakeholders over the coming years to deliver this significant new project that creates outstanding real estate and a compelling long-term opportunity for our investors.”
The news was hailed as “encouraging” by Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese, who said it adds “real weight and impetus” to the Enterprise City ambition.
“Manchester has the potential to incubate and support some of tomorrow’s great businesses and we need forward thinking enterprise opportunities, such as this, to realise this great potential,” he said.
Aviva Investors was advised by CBRE.