ONE OF Leeds’ landmark office buildings has been acquired by its biggest tenant in a multi-million pound deal.
The Tannery, Kirkstall Road, a mile from Leeds city centre, has been bought by the city’s largest independent provider of serviced offices, Bracken Business Centres, from development company, CDP Marshall, Elland, in the deal funded by Handelsbanken’s Wellington Street branch.
Completion of the deal sees Bracken Business Centres, which has leased 13,500 sq ft at the Tannery as a business centre since 2010, gain access to a further 11, 500 sq ft of offices which it has already leased to debt recovery specialist BW Legal.
The property, on a 1.7-acre site including car parking, was built in 1876 by Firth and Kendal, Idle, Bradford, for Leeds industrialist William Paul and initially produced leather for shoes, harnesses and industrial use. More recently, it was the regional head offices of Arla Foods and Craven Dairies.
Bracken Business Centres has also been supported by Handelsbanken in refinancing its flagship centre, Calls Wharf, which opened in 2008 and has 33 offices on four floors with 20,000 sq ft of office space. The company bases its centres in characterful properties and concentrates mainly, but not exclusively, on lettings to businesses outside the core corporate market such as the creative sector.
Bracken Business Centres managing director, Neil Clark, says: “Demand for high-quality, serviced and managed office space in Leeds city centre is increasing, and acquiring The Tannery gives us greater opportunities to expand a number of growing companies in our portfolio
“We’re pleased that Handelsbanken has recognised our strong position in the market and our growth potential and has supported us in this acquisition which is an important stage in our expansion.”
Handelsbanken Leeds Wellington Street branch manager, James Cornell, says: “We are delighted to have assisted with the acquisition of The Tannery and look forward to working with the directors of Bracken Business Centres in the future”.
Bracken Business Centres, a sister company of Chartford Homes, also has a serviced office centre in Albion Court, Albion Place, Leeds, originally built as a Church Institute in 1848, which opened in 2012. The three centres offer a total of 58,000 sq ft of offices, ten meeting rooms and have 64 tenants. The centres offer flexibility, so incubated micro-business can grow; traditional letting if tenants’ needs change and virtual offices available on a monthly basis.