Views

How Manchester’s city living revival has played a part in JLL north west’s office move

Chris Mulcahy talks about how a new location can serve to engage staff, as JLL prepares to move to Landmark on St. Peter’s Square, Manchester

November 18, 2019

 Across the globe, more and more people are choosing to move back ‘downtown’ – as demonstrated by the uptick in Manchester’s city centre population, which has jumped from 18,500 in 2012 to 27,900 in 2018.

This can be attributed to a number of things, such as the improvement in city centre amenity and quality of housing. However, a key driving factor has been the number of high-paying and high-calibre city centre jobs; ‘across Manchester, jobs in senior professions have risen from 81,700 to 121,500 in the last decade, according to figures from ONS Nomis – an increase of almost 50%.

Keen to avoid a long commute, young professionals in particular have moved to city centres in their droves, meaning that the demand for quality, central office space has increased in tandem.

Location, location, location

This is why when it came to choosing a location for JLL’s new north west office, we knew it was necessary to consider Manchester’s urban living renaissance. We needed a location that could cater to our urbanite team members – within walking distance of the city centre’s key residential areas – but one that was also hyper-connected and close to public transport links for those that live further out.

St. Peter’s Square is where old and new come together; home to first-class historic landmarks such as the Central Library, The Midland Hotel (where Rolls met Royce), and a statue of Manchester’s beloved Emmeline Pankhurst sitting pride of place.

All of this, set against a backdrop of the latest in cutting-edge office design, meant that the iconic square ticked all the boxes for us. In addition, it is centrally positioned within the city and has recently welcomed a main Metrolink stop, making it brilliantly connected.

We knew that if we could couple this accessibility with an innovative, collaborative workspace which championed tech and sustainability, we would greatly enhance the working lives of our current staff whilst also appealing to the next generation of best-in-class graduate talent – many of whom will put down roots in the city centre.

As well as public transport, we needed somewhere with good cycle hub facilities, such as storage and showers, to accommodate the growing number of people in our team that cycle to work.

Naturally, it also works for our clients from an accessibility perspective – it’s important that we’re within easy reach of them, regardless of where in the country they’re based or how they plan on getting to us. 

 

A healthy work/life balance

As well as workers looking to minimise commuting time, another driving factor in the UK’s urban living revival has been the continual improvement of city centre restaurants and bars. Manchester is experiencing this at an even more exciting rate than other UK cities, with food and drink analytics company CGA revealing that its hospitality scene is the fastest-growing in the country. The resultant buzz that this brings is something which, naturally, people want to be in close proximity to.

St. Peter’s Square hasn’t escaped this, and the number of high-quality operators that it has welcomed to the fold – including San Carlo Fumo and The Anthologist – means that our team will benefit from having that vibrant ‘city living’ feel right on their doorstep.

We’re viewing our move from One Piccadilly as a chance to embrace change and re-set our working culture slightly, so having those provisions nearby is important to us.

When you couple this with Landmark’s nearness to great health and fitness spaces such as Blok, Barry’s Bootcamp and V1BE, it really brings into focus how positively the space will impact our team’s work-life balance.

All of these factors are vital to ensuring our staff engagement remains high. We want our team to feel happy in and excited by the location of their office space, and that they’re really ‘connected’ to Manchester. This city is one of the UK’s leading lights when it comes to music, arts, culture, food, sport, business, and so much more. It’s brilliant that all of this will now be accessible from a brand new, state-of-the-art office space in Manchester’s most sought-after business location.

Like what you read?