Salford office property stock is set to receive a further boost, cementing the region as the new hot spot for property investment. The North West Evergreen Fund has made an early investment in the Soapworks regeneration development project, giving a GBP 6 million loan to global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group and its joint venture partners Nikal Developments and Abstract Securities.
The money will be used to deliver the second 210,000 square foot phase of the proposed 400,000 square foot Grade A office redevelopment taking place at the former Colgate-Palmolive factory. The site is situated in Salford Quays' new Media City boundary, ensuring that competition for units will be tight upon completion. Soapworks has a gross development value of circa GBP 70 million and the historic site is poised to become a new commercial hub that will deliver employment and revitalisation to the area. According to the CBRE, the Evergreen-funded part of the project alone will create 1,350 jobs.
Blocks A, B and C, which form part of the second phase of the project, are scheduled for completion at the end of 2013. When finished, Grade A, shell and core office space will be in abundance, similar to those offered at the Boilerhouse, which is already fully let. Block D will complete the project, adding a further 170,000 square feet to the development, but a start date is yet to be confirmed.
Tony Martin, head of Investment Advisory, CBRE, said: "Evergreen provides developers with an opportunity to secure much-needed finance for strategic sites that will make a significant contribution to the success of the north west’s economy. The Soapworks investment fulfills every criterion for the fund, most particularly that it is expected to be a catalyst for the regeneration and employment prospects for the wider area.
"We look forward to growing Evergreen’s investment portfolio and are in advanced negotiations with a number of other parties on schemes of differing sizes and focus, and hope to announce a follow on investment in the very near future."