Old soap factory scrubbing up as offices

Posted on by John Cronin

A former soap factory in Manchester is now being converted into offices in a multi-million pound redevelopment.

Work has now started on the first phase of the large scale redevelopment of the former Colgate Palmolive soap factory in Salford Quays. The site is adjacent to the large Exchange Quays office block and is the latest office scheme to start in an area that is undergoing a major transformation. The huge MediaCity development is nearby offering a wide range of offices, studio facilities and residential properties. The scheme, officially known as Soapworks, Ivy Wharf, is a joint venture between Carlyle Group and Abstract Securities. Carlyle Group paid £30m for the 8.42acre site in 2008. Planning consent was obtained in May, 2010.

soapworksThe complete Soapworks scheme is to include a hotel and residential accommodation along with hundreds of square feet of office space (pictured).

Phase 1 of the development has now started and sees the conversion of an old boiler house into a 4-storey office complex offering approximately 25,000 sq ft of floor space. Completion of this phase is expected by June, 2011. The complete scheme will offer in excess of 350,000 sq ft of office space. The scheme will offer floor plates of approximately 82,000 sq ft, allowing large tenants single floor occupation. Suites will be available in a range of sizes starting at 2,000 sq ft.

Interest in the speculative scheme is claimed to be strong. Mark Harris, director of The Carlyle Group, said: “…we are in the process of talking to a number of prospective tenants”. He goes on to say: “we are able to offer rents of around half those of central Manchester.”

Architects for the scheme are Liverpool based shed km who also designed the large scale Fort Dunlop project. Developers are Bowmer & Kirkland and marketing agents are Canning O’Neill.

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