Opus North, the Yorkshire-based property developers have bought a prime 50,000 sq ft office scheme in the centre of Leeds alongside funding partners, Fiera Real Estate UK Limited (“Fiera Real Estate”).
This purchase, from a guide price of £12m, is one of a number of acquisitions that make up the first close of Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund V UK (“FREOF V UK”), the latest fund in Fiera Real Estate’s programmatic venture series with CBRE Global Investment Partners (“CBRE GIP”).
FREOF V UK is targeting £250m of value add and opportunistic real estate transactions in the UK.
The new acquisition, King’s Court, is located in the heart of Leeds and was constructed in 1989, spanning over seven floors with a net internal area of c.50,000 sq ft. There is also an on-site car park with 26 spaces available.
Subject to planning, Fiera Real Estate and Opus North plan to refurbish the building and bring it to a Grade A specification with the potential for a change of use. The office block will be comprehensively redeveloped to create the finest Grade A office space in the city. It will be ready for occupation in the summer of 2021.
Andrew Duncan, director of Opus North, said: “Occupier demands are changing. Businesses want more choice in their workspace and more services and amenities for their staff. This trend is already disrupting the market in Leeds but is also opening up new opportunities to add value for us, which we will apply at Kings Court.”
Chris Button, fund manager at Fiera Real Estate, said: “This acquisition is a great way to start 2020. The fund is keen to find similar opportunities in the £5-£25m range throughout the UK.”
Eamon Fox, partner at the Leeds office of Knight Frank, said: “People want more than just a good job and working environment. The lifestyle a particular city can offer is becoming a key component for a business in attracting and retaining staff, which is where Leeds is winning over other UK Cities.
“We see now that businesses must consider the housing costs, quality, lifestyles and commutes of their staff if they are to understand what motivates them to relocate to or from a city or job. The quality and location of a building is a large part of the story, Kings Court will allow our future occupiers access to an extensive talent pool, with services, design, amenities and astute leasing models at the forefront of our proposition.
Paul Fox, director at Fox Lloyd Jones, said: “This is one of the most significant office deals in Leeds during the past 12 months and we are very thrilled to be part of the team. Kings Court is a striking landmark building in the heart of the city’s professional core, we look forward to repositioning the asset for delivery in 2021”.
A number of Yorkshire professional services teams will be working on the renovation of Kings Court, including architects DLA, quantity surveyors Gardiner & Theobald, engineers Curtains, M&E consultants MRB and property consultants Knight Frank and Fox Lloyd Jones.