Manchester city centre office building 11 St James’s Square has been bought by Beech Holdings for £5.27 million.
The developer acquired the 22,374 sq ft property on Dalton Street from Readycount, a subsidiary of stockbroker WH Ireland, and plans to convert the upper four floors into 48 apartments.
The staff of current tenant WH Ireland will remain at the building for at least the next five months, while the retail units on the ground floor will be unaffected and continue to trade as normal.
Stephen Beech, founder of Beech Holdings, said: “We are turning large numbers of young professionals and graduates away every day at the moment. This latest acquisition will go some way to increasing the supply of much-needed residential apartments across the city region."
Oliver Rowe, associate partner at WHR Property Consultants, who advised on the sale, said: “This transaction demonstrates that Manchester is further developing into a true live/work city, with a high demand for high quality, centrally located residential accommodation. This allows certain residential developers to compete in areas previously dominated by commercial development.”
Observers say commercial developers were outbid because the floorplates at 11 St James Place were too small for modern commercial use, which prevents office rents from climbing.