Amazon eye up city centre office in Manchester

Amazon, the online retail giant, is understood to be close to agreeing to take 91,000 sq ft city centre office as it mulls a much larger Manchester campus.

Amazon is believed to be close to agreeing to take 91,000 sq ft at Hanover House, Corporation Street.

Speculation has been rife about the intentions of the online retailer since the M.E.N. exclusively reported in August 2017 that they were looking for a Manchester HQ.

A sources close to the deal now says that Amazon has narrowed its choice to Hanover House, Corporation Street, which is its preference, and two floors at Patrizia’s 8 First Street, close to Deansgate.

It also appears that Amazon has increased its requirement from an initial 75,000 sq ft to 90,000 sq ft and that they see the initial deal as part of a wider strategy to create a regional campus outside London.

A source close to the deal said: “Amazon are insisting on a break in the lease at five and seven years because they are exploring a much larger campus development [which they would move to at that time].

“Both the rapid break clause and the need for more space for a campus-style development cause problems for new-build schemes like First Street, but look much better for Hanover House, which sits on the edge of the 20-acre NOMA development site.

“Hanover is preferred because Amazon can have the whole self-contained building – rather than just a few anonymous floors in a block, and because it has character and does not look too corporate.”

Hanover House, Corporation Street

It is understood that a deal will be announced in the first quarter of this year.

Hermes, who took control of the NOMA project after buying out their partner Co-Operative Group just before Christmas, declined to comment.

JLL, who are letting agents for Hanover, also declined to comment. However, sources at JLL had earlier said they had interest in the building.

Amazon did not respond to GMBW’s request for a comment.

Amazon has so far restricted itself to an office HQ in London but is now set on creating an alternative hub in the regions.

The move mirrors changes in the United States where Amazon announced last September that it would be seeking a second HQ in addition to its Seattle base. Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston are said to be in the running.

Russells Construction has been appointed to work on the £34m Grade II Hanover remodelling.

The 109,000 sq ft block is being stripped back and remodelled, creating 91,000 sq ft of Grade A office space and 18,000 sqft of available retail and leisure.

Situated in Corporation Street next to the recent completed Federation refurbishment, the former warehouse overlooks Sadler’s Yard and Pilcrow Pub, which was hand-built by local volunteers. Hanover is due for completion by August 2018.

Amazon would not be the only online giant to create a UK campus. Google has been creating a new £600m campus-style UK HQ at London’s Kings Cross in a deal with property developers Argent.

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