Harbourside £13m office deal ‘signals area’s arrival as prime business location’

October 15, 2012

The freehold of a large office building at Bristol’s Harbourside has been sold for £13m in an indication, according to its developer Crest Nicholson, of the emergence of the area as Bristol’s prime financial centre.

The 50,000 sq ft building, 2 College Square, which has a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating, has been acquired by international real estate fund manager PRUPIM. It is half occupied by law firm CMS Cameron McKenna and PRUPIM will be letting the remaining two floors each of approximately 12,000 sq ft, which can also be subdivided to create suites from 6,000 sq ft.

The Harbourside area is now home to around 330,000 sq ft of offices with occupiers including independent finance advice group Hargreaves Lansdown and Lloyds TSB.

The one remaining site in the area has planning consent for approximately 70,000 sq ft of office space and is already available for pre-letting. Once developed, it will complete what has become known as the Quarter Mile of Glass Elevations along the south side of Anchor Road.

Crest Nicholson regeneration chairman at Crest Nicholson described the 2 College Square sale as ‘a great result in the current market’.

He added: “This letting and sale enhances Harbourside’s growing reputation as the financial business location of choice but also for the city’s role as commercial powerhouse for the South West.”

Buildings totalling around 1m sq ft have been developed on the former industrial area of Canon’s Marsh next to Bristol’s historic Floating Harbour, creating, in one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects, a vibrant mixed-use waterside city district over nearly two decades.

As well as offices, the area now also includes cafes, bars, a casino, restaurants, an Ibis hotel and 662 high-specification apartments. The latest phase of residential development includes 170 one, two and three-bedroom apartments plus a number of one-bedroom studios. The development’s name, Invicta, draws inspiration from Bristol’s twin city of Porto in Portugal which was known as Cidade Invicta, or The Unvanquished City.

The scheme will include a pedestrian walkway linking it with Millennium Square and completing the Brunel Mile walk to Temple Meads railway station.

Crest Nicholson was advised by DTZ, Jones Lang Lasalle and CMS Cameron McKenna in the 2 College Square deal. PRUPIM was advised by Ediston, Forsters and Hogan Lovell.

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