A property group has revealed plans to transform a former bank in the heart of Manchester’s innovation district into residential accommodation.
Commercial finance specialist Together provided a short-term loan of more than £1 million for development company Soller Group to buy the old Barclays building in Oxford Road.
The three-storey office block is in the centre of Manchester’s innovation district – a cluster of world-leading science and research industries centred around five hospitals and the city’s two universities.
Nick Treadaway, Soller Group CEO, said:
“This building is in a prime location and when we were made aware that it could be acquired, we took the opportunity.
It’s near the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Royal Infirmary and Manchester Science Park, and sits on the Oxford Road Corridor – one of the North of England’s most important commercial areas.
It had a planning consent under permitted development rights for ten flats and following discussions with the council we have already improved the existing scheme, creating additional apartments.
We wanted the finance quickly to allow us to seize this fantastic opportunity and we worked closely in partnership with Together, which delivered the funding we needed.”
The Soller Group approached Together to provide the initial finance needed to buy the office block, which stands on the corner of Oxford Road and Grosvenor Street, having worked with the Cheadle-based lender on previous successful projects.
After considering its application, Together agreed to provide a bridging loan of over £1 million for the purchase of the 5,017 sq ft commercial property. It includes a former banking hall on the ground floor and open-plan offices on the first two floors, a mezzanine, basement and parking.
Mr Treadaway said there had already been a “great deal of interest” from prospective tenants, including an overseas student accommodation provider.
Chris Baguley, commercial managing director at Together, worked with the Soller Group to structure the short-term finance package.
He said: “We’ve previously joined Soller as their finance partner for major projects in Birmingham, Glasgow and London and know their pedigree and ambitions when it comes to acquiring and developing property with huge potential.
“With that in mind, we were delighted to provide this facility and are excited to see how the Manchester scheme progresses.”