While the retail sector throughout the UK has continued to attract negative press, Stockport’s largest commercial landlord, Orbit Developments, provides a contrasting look at Stockport’s commercial property market.
Rhys Owen,(left) Leasing Director, Orbit Developments, discusses how Stockport is attracting more and more businesses to the town centre.
“You can’t help but notice the negative press Stockport’s retail sector has recently attracted, but take a look at the office sector of the commercial property market and it’s a drastically different story.
The last five years have been record-breaking for office lettings in Stockport town centre, which indicates the level of confidence businesses have in choosing to relocate here.
On average, the town centre would usually see around 44,000 sq ft of office space let each year, enough to fill the first building at Stockport Exchange.
But 2013, 2014 and 2017 all saw figures well in excess of this. The vast majority of space was taken by companies moving into the area and then expanding.
And it’s not just deals completed at shiny new developments like Stockport Exchange. This development accounted for a bumper year in 2017, but the vast majority of activity stemmed from our own town centre 12-building strong portfolio.
Since 2013, Orbit Developments has let the equivalent of three Stockport Exchanges, with over 1500 jobs saved or created as a result.
Witnessing this kind of growth first hand and the quality of businesses we can now attract prompts further belief in the successful future of the town centre.
This belief has been the driving force behind the investment we have made over the last five years in our Stockport property portfolio, and our current refurbishment project at 1 St Peters Square has notably received greater investment than any other of our town centre buildings.
Its significant refresh will again play a role in the positive cycle of success eg attract new businesses to choose Stockport, bring inward investment, job creation and inspire more improvements in the town centre, including hard-pressed retail.