Recently in Manchester Category
We're all in this together for another five years, according to Joynson, one of the panellists at the Lowry Theatre on Salford Quays. Banks are lending, he said, but sadly, they're lending to firms who don't actually need the money.
I'm pretty sure Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash, winced at the other end of the panel on hearing Joynson's prognosis. Or maybe that was down to the fact that the famously ardent Manchester Utd fan was sat next to Manchester City's head of infrastructure, Pete Bradshaw, who handled the question on banks' lending policies with the deftest of touches. "We don't really have to borrow, to be honest."
The Co-operative's Ruariadh Jackson, overseeing the firm's new Angel Square HQ and the sale and leaseback of the 21 acre site it sits on, was happy that it's banking arm had been cautious lenders. He was also happy about the new building's BREEAM Outstanding status, as the debate moved on to green developments and retrofitting.
BBC chief operating officer Alice Webb, who's MediaCityUK offices you could see from the window of the debating room, went one better. They've developed a carbon calculator and even given it a name - Albert.
I also spotted Bloxham emailing/texting on his mobile during the debate. Maybe as a fan of social media, he was tweeting about the event, and in this day and age, it seems and appropriate way of summarising.
So, the EG Manchester QT in 140 characters? 'Greater Manchester needs more skills, more money, and to forget about London.'
Simon Binns is Estates Gazette's North of England correspondent
Essentially, the club has joined an already existing partnership between the local council and housing association Your Housing, who are carrying out a £25m redevelopment programme around the stadium.
Anfield is a rare thing in terms of modern top flight stadia - tightly surrounded by residential streets in an era where the trend has been to build new out of town structures while the old site is sold, invariably for new housing. Several of those neighbouring streets will have to go, however, to accommodate Liverpool's own £150m DIY project.
The club claims the local community and home owners are 'supportive' of the proposed expansion. If they look further down the M62 however, they will need to take heed of the problems faced by the club that Liverpool - and the rest of the Premier League - are trying to catch.
The 'money no object' approach of Manchester City, now owned by Abu Dhabi's seemingly bottomless sovereign wealth fund, has brought success on the pitch. It has also brought forward hugely ambitious plans for a £100m training academy and campus around its Etihad Stadium, similar to that of Barcelona's Nou Camp, on an 80-acre site that used to be a gas works.
The community engagement programme carried out by the club was some of the slickest and thorough I've ever seen. Yet the club still had to spend six months negotiating with a truculent local landowner, resulting in a compulsory purchase order and unwanted media attention.
Shaun O'Brien, owner of OB Truck Services, took on the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, dividing up land he owned around the stadium into 5,000 individual sq ft plots to try and disrupt any CPO attempt. He claimed the club refused to 'negotiate reasonably' and priced the plots at £250 each.
Manchester City Council claimed O'Brien was trying to hold the land - and the club - to ransom. The CPO was finally granted in August.
Liverpool has already referenced the 'complex planning landscape' around a redevelopment such as this. Putting a loft conversion in is one thing - making room for an extra 15,000 to regularly come into the area is quite another.
Another factor is success on the pitch. Will Fenway ultimately invest in their franchise if Liverpool continue to drift away from the top four or five clubs?
If Liverpool do take anything from Manchester City though, it should be that while sensitivity will win you friends, ultimately, hardball will take out your enemies. On and off the pitch.
Simon Binns is Estates Gazette's north of England correspondent
Picture by Ben Sutherland on Flickr
When it bought the former telly factory in Newton Heath, for £6m in 2008, with a mind to convert it into a hub for independent media companies it was viewed as a bit of a cheap and shabby response to Peel's shiny new MediaCity over on Salford Quays.
But it's now full and, arguably, Sharp is generating more diverse content. There's even talk of Sharp 2 and 3.
The council even says it would consider selling a share of its 200,000 sq ft media hub or franchising the brand to other countries.
Speaking to EG at the unveiling of another new tenant at the Newton Heath facility, American 3D modelling form Eon Reality, council leader Sir Richard Leese said the authority had been 'swamped with offers' from potential investors, franchisees and other world cities about the Sharp Project.
"People have come to us and asked us if they can have one," he says. "That might mean franchising it out or selling a part of it to a private investor, but in both cases, they would have to share the vision for what we are trying to achieve here," he said.
"We've had interest from Mexico, India, Sweden, Brazil, as well as London. How much is it worth? I don't know that yet, but we'd always be willing to have the conversation."
Sir Richard said the council intended to refurbish and rebrand other public buildings in and around Manchester under the Sharp Project brand, starting with the adjacent One Central Park building, where Eon has taken 10,000 sq ft with an option to expand.
Much of the credit has to go to Sue Woodward, the canny former managing director of ITV Granada brought in to lead the Sharp Project. Woodward had a hand in bringing the Commonwealth Games to Manchester and the Capital of Culture to Liverpool. Now she's wants to put the nation's TV drama hub in East Manchester.
Over on the Quays, Peel has another 5m sq ft planned at MediaCity. An overkill of space or is Manchester simply becoming the capital content of the UK? Either way, a dusty old TV warehouse may turn out to be one of the best bits of business the council has done in recent times.
Simon is EG's correspondent for the North of England email@example.com
Ah, Project Digital. The 188,000sq ft Manchester requirement so secret, only four people in the city know who it is, writes Simon Binns.
Other media outlets have made a lazy stab at Apple, but other names including Cisco, Intel, Google and Microsoft have been thrown around in recent weeks.
But what will it actually be? All signs seem to be pointing towards an enlarged use of holographic modelling, extended toward a B2B audience that would usually be unable to afford access to the technology. Thin glass screens and white walls will be used to grab and store data as global colleagues push, pull and spin virtual environments in front of their very eyes. Imagine a verson of Minority Report set in a branch of Rymans. Possibly.
Simon Binns is Estates Gazette's North England correspondent.
Picture by eyeliam on Flickr
I went over to Manchester Airport last week for a progress check on its ambitious Airport City scheme, writes Simon Binns.
The marketing suite itself is impressive enough. A whizzy iPad presentation is livened up even more by clear plastic sheets given to prospecvtive occupiers, which they can take away and lay over their tablet then marvel as vacuum-pressed mini-office blocks, hotels or sheds light up at the appropriate times. Even the roads turn bright pink. I even got the requisite press USB stick, although this one was dayglo yello and went around your wrist like a watch.
Dayglo USB wristbands and plastic iPad covers aside, things seem to be cracking on reasonably well with Airport City. Talk is the airport has heads of terms out on 11 deals that would gobble up 1.5m sq ft of space if they all complete. Two of those requirements are thought to be in solicitors' hands, although the airport refused to be drawn.
Ther target is one large occupier by Christmas and something concrete to present at next year's MIPIM. Presentations are one thing, but deals are what will make this scheme fly.
Simon Binns is Estates Gazette's North of England correspondent
There are a few contenders for 'the big show' in Manchester right now, writes Simon Binns. Argent's One St Peter's Square is on site; Sheik Mansour is helpfully transforming the area around the home of his new toy, also known as Manchester City FC, and Realty Estates is demolishing the former BBC building on Oxford Road to make way for...well, who knows what.
The City Council is doing its bit too, spending £150m on the refurbishment of the Town Hall extension and the adjoining Central Library. Ask Developments will argue the significance of the nearby First Street.
But at the Northern end of the city centre, next to Victoria Station, the Co-operative has taken on 20 acres. Twenty. Acres.
The first phase of NOMA is its own brand new HQ, One Angel Square, is ready for occupation from early November - but EG got to have a look around before a single stapler has been moved across the road from New Century House.
This may only resonate with fewer than one per cent of the EG readership, but it looks exactly like the Hilton in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This is a compliment. It's five star and everything.
For those who haven't had the pleasure, it's big, bright and 14-storeys of impressiveness.
A huge central atrium - it can hold more than 300 people should it need to - is at the heart of the new building, which will be BREEAM outstanding and powered by rapeseed oil produced on Co-operative farms. Really.
There's a great-looking roof terrace on the 9th floor, as well as the one beneath it that forms part of the staff canteen. The latter is shielded from the elements by a huge glass fin but both give breathtaking views of the city. Light shoots around the building and you can pretty much see every floor from every vantage point.
The meeting rooms are decorated with reminders of the Co-op's past, present and future, and the firm has adapted the BBC at MediaCity-like policy of colour coding different areas depending in their function - concentrate, collaborate or create.
It's all very modern and progressive, and Co-op Estates team had looked at other companies' working practices, including the London offices of Virgin and PWC. It's a totally paperless office too, which has already been piloted in the old HQ and has met with mixed results, by all accounts.
Take a look at the gallery below and compare it to your own office. Or Kazakhstan hotels. Your choice.
Simon Binns is North of England correspondent for EG, firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite the half-yearly city centre take-up figures from the Manchester Office Agents' Forum making fairly depressing reading, Bruntwood decided to make the best of it, writes Simon Binns.
They stuck out a press release saying how they were responsible for 37 per cent of the 303,000 sq ft shifted in the first six months of 2012 - which you'll all have worked out is 112,000 sq ft. Not bad at all, statistically speaking.
It doesn't hide the fact that Manchester's city centre office market is in need of...something. Anything. A big letting would be nice. It's easy to speak of 'iconic' buildings (and there is plenty of building going on), but they've got to be full to have any worth.
The biggest deal of the period was technically in Salford (21,000 sq ft at Bruntwood's Riverside on New Bailey Street) and the next biggest was just 13,500 sq ft.
Requirements from Jacobs (80,000-100,000 sq ft) and BUPA (circa 160,000 sq ft) are the great white hopes for the city centre. But nothing is guaranteed,
Meanwhile, Bruntwood keep on racking up the deals, smashing home a total of, erm, 7,000 sq ft across three lettings at its recently re-polished Centurion House, near Spinningfields.
Every little helps though eh?
Simon Binns is EG's senior reporter for the North of England, based in Manchester email@example.com
Bolton-based developer Hamill Investments is the latest to try and cash in on the BBC's move to Salford Quays by targeting a building nearby writes Simon Binns.
In an oddly structured deal, the firm has taken a punt on Regatta House on the nearby Clippers Quay. Sort of.
Hamill has bought an option on the building, and will then have the chance to buy it from current owners, GGM Properties, for a sum thought to be in the region of £2m.
Before that though, the firm will refurbish and rename the building ''HQ - Hamill at the Quays', turning the 14,220 sq ft scheme into serviced office suites.
Chris Neill, managing director at Hamill, said the building's 'close proximity to MediaCityUK and future potential' were the main factors to take on what is effectively a loan deal. Think of the building as Andy Carroll. If it comes in and does well, it will earn itself a permanent move. If it can't shift space, it will be sent back to the parent club to fight for its place next season Brian.
I'm going to stop now as I've confused myself with this elongated football analogy.
Canning O'Neill advised GGM Properties. Hamill was unrepresented. But based on this deal, maybe Kia Joorabchian and 'Arry Redknapp should have been involved too?
Simon Binns is EG's senior reporter for the North of England based in Manchester firstname.lastname@example.org