£105million investment agreed for new First Street net zero carbon office

Ask Real Estate and The Richardson Family has completed a £105m transaction with Pension Insurance Corporation to enable delivery of the next phase of office development at First Street.

Low carbon development is a key priority for us as we journey towards becoming a net zero carbon city by 2038 – and the investigations into low carbon building are welcomed as every development has a part to play to lower our collective emissions.

Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council

Situated within the First Street neighbourhood, the next phase of development is a 130,900 sq ft Grade A office building which has been fully pre-let to the Government Property Agency (GPA) for their Manchester Hub on a 25-year lease.

In alignment with Manchester’s target to become a zero-carbon city by 2038, the next generation office building has been designed for the GPA so it can be operated as a net zero-carbon space. This has been achieved by using a higher percentage of solid façade to reduce the solar gain and improve the thermal performance of the building and therefore reducing energy demands. The mixed mode natural ventilation system also reduces energy usage as well as improves health and wellbeing.

The building features a state-of-the-art dedicated cycle hub with storage for 130 bikes, co-working and breakout spaces, private roof terraces and winter gardens providing visual, social and working amenities. Complementing the building will be a series of new green areas of landscaping which will further enhance the high-quality public realm which is already a key part of the First Street Estate, and build upon the Oxford Road Corridor’s abundance of green space.

John Hughes, Managing Director at Ask said: “We’re delighted that PIC shares our vision for First Street. We’ve always strived to deliver high-quality, innovative and sustainable developments, and without doubt, the GPA hub will be exactly that.

“From a wider perspective, this investment highlights Manchester’s continuing strength as a forward-thinking world-class city in which to work, live and visit. We are proud to be playing our role by successfully progressing the phased delivery of the First Street Estate, which is now one of the region’s most popular workplace destinations.”

Speaking on behalf of the GPA, Clive Anderson, Director of Capital Projects said: “The First Street development is part of the Government Hubs Programme which will provide a smaller, better and greener estate which supports the Government’s ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council and Oxford Road Corridor Board Member, said: “First Street is a true exemplar for regeneration at scale, delivering a new mixed used neighbourhood that is a real asset to our growing city centre. It’s great to welcome the next phase of the ongoing development.

“The city’s continued economic recovery following the pandemic relies on sustainable growth, and this includes meeting demand for high quality office space – providing the necessary infrastructure businesses need to establish themselves and grow in Manchester.

“Low carbon development is a key priority for us as we journey towards becoming a net zero carbon city by 2038 – and the investigations into low carbon building are welcomed as every development has a part to play to lower our collective emissions.”

When the Manchester First Street Hub opens in 2025 it will be home to 2,500 civil servants from at least four different government departments, making it one of the largest hubs for cross-government collaboration and operation outside London.”

The GPA Hub joins office buildings, N01 and N08 First Street and an array of cafe bars, restaurants and leisure amenities such as WOOD Manchester, The Indian Tiffin Room and cultural venue, HOME, which has five cinema screens, galleries and a book shop.

As an employment-led development with a current working population of c4,000 people, First Street is on target to accommodate 10,000 jobs on final completion.

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