Universal Square

MCR Property Group has grown the annual rental income of its national commercial portfolio by more than £3.3million during the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the seven-month period from the start of the 2020 financial year, the developer has completed lettings and lease renewals on over 435,000 sq. ft. increasing the rent roll by £3,304,911pa. New lettings of commercial and office space accounted for 179,605 sq. ft. generating an additional £1.2m of annual income.  Industrial accommodation accounted for the largest proportion (67%) totalling 121,085 sq ft with 52,518 sq ft of office accommodation leased and the balance being retail.

Selco Trade Counters signed up to 51,712 sq ft in Bristol with 26,100 sq ft let at Langton Industrial Estate in Newton Aycliffe and six new lettings totalling 15,730 sq ft let at Aven Industrial Estate near Rotherham.

At MCR Property Group’s head office, Universal Square, a complex of five refurbished, interlinked office buildings close to Manchester city centre, lettings totalling 13,611 sq. ft. were completed.  The largest was to Global Banking School (GBS), a higher education provider working in partnership with several UK universities. GBS CEO, Prof Ray Lloyd, said: “We have grown our campuses in recent years throughout the UK and the additional 10,000 sq. ft. at Universal Square, Manchester, will give us the required space to help upgrade skills in the city.”

Lease renewals of 255,834 sq. ft. were completed during the period with an annual rent of £2,087,632. Significantly, two occupiers committed to new leases on approximatley 115,000 sq. ft.  Sensia committed to 67,380 sq. ft. in Maldon, Essex and a further 47,000 sq ft was let at Sutherland House in Coventry.

One of the most active areas in MCR’s portfolio was the serviced office sector with a total of 117 new lettings and agreements being renewed during the period.  MCR provides a fully serviced office solution at 8 sites across the country totalling 606 offices.  In the 7 months new lettings generated an additional £314,000 of rental income and 38 agreements were renewed securing £195,000 in licence fees.

Charles Denby, commercial asset manager at MCR Property Group, commented: “It’s no secret the commercial property sector in general has taken a hit during the pandemic. That said, these results show the appetite from the country’s businesses to keep things moving forward, despite the current challenges. We fully support this strong commitment to rebuilding our regions’ economies and getting people back to work in safe environments.

“New lettings show that there’s still a need for well-managed, good quality commercial and office space, notably in the north of England, which has been under stricter lockdown measures. What’re more, our customer renewals are testament to the hard work of the team, demonstrating our hands-on approach and entrepreneurial attitude to property management.”


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