Artmax acquires Manchester's The Observatory from USS

Artmax acquires Manchester's The Observatory from USS

September 06, 2018

The capital markets team at property advisor JLL has sold The Observatory office development in Manchester to Artmax Properties on behalf of the Universities Superannuation Scheme for over 20 million.

Located on Chapel Walks, the 55,138 sq ft building is let to eight firms including Nationwide, Aviva, and Capita Property and Infrastructure Ltd. It also has two suites totaling 11,102 sq ft available to let.

The Observatory was originally built in 1998 and since 2009 has undergone a series of refurbishments.

James Porteous, director for Capital Markets at JLL, said: "The Observatory is a modern building in a prime location in the heart of Manchester's central business district. It's unsurprising given its location and tenant mix that it has drawn interest from a broad range of investor types.

"Greater Manchester is the best performing and largest UK office market outside of London. The annual take-up in the city centre in 2017 was 1.2 million sq ft, a level that's been maintained now for three years. Meanwhile, the city's Grade A vacancy now stands at 1.8 per cent and is underpinned by a range of diverse, mature occupier sectors.

"Domestic and overseas funds continue to view the city as a low-risk and attractive option with a range of opportunities for continued growth of capital values and rents over the next five years."

Cushman & Wakefield acted on behalf of Artmax.

Matthew Stretton, Partner at Cushman & Wakefield said: "We are delighted to have acquired The Observatory for our client. The building offers the opportunity to undertake a number of asset management initiatives to deliver enhanced returns and significantly improve the property's credentials whilst also benefitting from a prime location in the heart of Manchester's traditional business core."