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West Midlands Pension Fund to redevelop offices in Manchester

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UK - One of the UK's largest local authority pension funds is to redevelop a property in the city centre of Manchester, which the scheme plans to place into a trust in the near future.

The £8.6bn (€10.4bn) West Midlands Pension Fund, which recently announced plans to renovate a Grade II-listed building in central London, said the two office buildings currently on the site in Manchester would be replaced "in due course" - with the administering authority tendering a £2m architectural contract.

"The project will be for the delivery of a predominantly office-based scheme in the densely developed core of Manchester," the tender noted, saying the two office buildings due for replacement - Astley House and Byrom House - dated from the 1960s.

It said: "This will require development in accordance with the highest standards of contemporary, sustainable urban design, principally for commercial uses, but with a retail offering."

The tender added that the new development would have a total usable area of 250,000 square feet, an increase of more than a third from the current buildings.

It further revealed details of the local authority scheme's future plans for the development.

"This project is an investment for the fund and it is envisaged that the property will be placed into a trust in the near future," the mandate said.

"Therefore, please note that the architectural services contract to which this procurement process relates will need to be novated from the fund to the trust once it is established."

West Midlands currently invests £748m in real estate, nearly 9% of assets under management.

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