Marks and Spencer seeks city centre office space - MIDAS

Marks and Spencer seeks city centre office space

7 April, 2008 – Marks and Spencer seeks city centre office space

Marks & Spencer is looking for 80,000 sq ft of office space in or around Manchester city centre and may be preparing to move some staff from London into the area, according to several property industry sources.

The retailer has identified five sites — four in Manchester and one on Salford Quays — and is aiming to narrow the choice down to two by the end of the month. The company has issued a request for proposals (RFP) through advisers CB Richard Ellis.

The five developments on the shortlist are understood to be Wilson Bowden’s Belvedere; Langtree’s 40 Springardens; Argent’s Three Piccadilly Place and Allied London’s Spinningfields, as well as HBG’s Metro at Exchange Quay.

Shared services

Marks & Spencer currently has 200 staff working in its shared services department on Salford Quays, where it occupies 40,000 sq ft across several buildings. The department comprises human resources and finance and accounting and carries out work for the group nationally.

However, one source indicated that the extra space being sought under the current requirement could be used to accommodate staff from its London head office in Waterside Basin near Paddington or its IT department at Stockley Park near Heathrow. 

Actively looking


A spokeswoman for Langtree said 40 Springardens had been attracting high levels of interest, including from companies not currently based in Manchester, although she would not comment directly on Marks & Spencer. “It is possible that 40 Springardens could mean new job creation in Manchester city centre,” she said.

Jonathan Mills, head of office investment at Jones Lang Lasalle in Manchester, said that improving office stock in the city was acting as a draw for companies to look outside of London for their base.

“Marks & Spencer is taking a long-term view in Manchester by upping their space requirements,” he said. “It’s a huge positive for the city, and testament to the high quality of developments and the labour pool in Manchester, as well as the reduced costs compared to London.”

In a statement, Marks & Spencer said: “We are constantly looking to ensure that our sites best suit our needs.”

“It’s a live process,” said one source. “The company has been here and is looking at office space, although they haven’t set a deadline on the process. But they are actively looking and they will be viewing again at the end of the month.”

Source: Crain's Manchester Business


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