In a major vote of confidence in the Manchester office market, MEPC is to speculatively develop a 200,000ft² office development with Federated Hermes at NOMA, a major regeneration project in Manchester city centre. 4 Angel Square will set new benchmarks for sustainable commercial property development, and MEPC, which is the development and asset manager for NOMA, will be working closely with main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland to reduce embodied carbon from the construction process. The company is also aiming for an Outstanding BREEAM rating, with a minimum rating of Excellent guaranteed.
Designed by Manchester-based architect SimpsonHaugh, 4 Angel Square will sit on the corner of Corporation Street and Miller Street and form a key part of the emerging business district within the NOMA neighbourhood. The 11-storey office building features a hotel-style entrance lobby and reception area and a c.2,500ft² external 10th-floor roof terrace. On the ground floor, 7,000ft² of retail space will be provided and split over two units, together with a separate ground-floor office suite perfect for a start-up or small business. The use of smart building technology is a key part of the design. The ground-floor retail space will help activate the new public square that is planned for next to 4 Angel Square which will connect to the existing public realm surrounding One Angel Square. The public square will also connect 4 Angel Square to 2 & 3 Angel Square, which will collectively deliver 600,000ft² of Grade A new-build office space once built.
Paul Pavia, head of development at MEPC, said: “With widespread public and business support for a true ‘green recovery’ after the pandemic is over, we only expect occupier and investor demand for high quality, sustainable workspace to grow further, which is why we have committed to making 4 Angel Square operationally net-zero carbon, raising the standard for sustainable office development. Commercial real estate was already beginning to recognise the importance of genuinely incorporating sustainability into the design and operation of buildings as being crucial to de-risking and future-proofing assets. Our recent acquisition by Federated Hermes gives us a fully vertically integrated delivery structure, which allows us to progress complex projects like this fully in line with Federated Hermes’ sustainability commitments.”
Sharon Brown, Director – Real Estate Risk and Environmental Impact at Federated Hermes, said: “The climate crisis requires an urgent and unified response. As responsible investors, Federated Hermes fully embraces the absolute need to support the development of sustainable buildings which not only deliver against net-zero objectives but also create healthy and more attractive spaces for our occupiers of the future. At the heart of our approach is our commitment to creating the ‘meaningful city’ – or places that people want to live and work in, and which foster a sense of belonging among inhabitants. We see the development of 4 Angel Square as a key development in delivering this approach in this key area of Manchester.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “NOMA is playing a crucial role in revitalising a key part of Manchester city centre and today’s announcement is welcome news that will create jobs and drive investment into the city. Cities will need to move quickly to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 and it’s major projects such as this that help drive vital growth - and signals a city that remains attractive for development.”
Stephen Bradley, Director – Investment Management at Federated Hermes, said: “We are confident in the Manchester market, which is why we are continuing to develop 4 Angel Square speculatively, and believe Manchester stands to benefit from changes in occupier demands post-coronavirus. While work patterns will undoubtedly change, there will always be demand for well-located, high quality, highly sustainable workspace.”