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Old August 21st, 2012, 09:54 AM   #1
Charlesstreet
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Project Digital - Tomorrow

An American technology giant is set to lead a property deals spree in Manchester city centre.

Surveyors DTZ say that so-called Project Digital is now close to taking 100,000 sq ft of central Manchester office space.

Sources have indicated the company on the search for premises in Manchester is a global brand.

Speculation is rife that it could be Apple.

Assessing the city’s office market, DTZ said: "In a significant move, it is understood that an undisclosed US technology corporate has terms agreed on 17 different Greater Manchester buildings, with seven more to follow.

"Project Digital is set to take up to 100,000 sq ft of grade A space in 2012, progressing to an eventual total of around 170,000 sq ft."

The Project Digital deal is expected to be followed by a series of other transactions.

DTZ calculates that as many as 29 occupiers are looking for around 830,000 sq ft of space in and around Manchester.

An announcement is expected this autumn from health giant BUPA, which has been looking a 160,000 sq ft Greater Manchester base.

A shortlist of Salford and city centre sites is being considered.

Jacbos Engineering is also looking for 90,000 sq ft, with Cheadle tipped as its likely destination.

Private college BPP is seeking 50,000-60,000 sq ft to consolidate operations in the city centre while another college, Futureworks, has a requirement for 25,000 sq ft.

Rob Yates, director of office agency at DTZ in Manchester, said: "We expect the second half of 2012 to show improved levels of activity.

"There are a number of deals due to commit plus larger transactions to come to fruition. We expect the final take up figure for 2012 to be around 700,000-800,000 sq ft."

In a separate report, surveyors at GVA disclose that business confidence has continued to affect regional office occupier markets.

Christopher Cheap, a director at GVA , said: "The overriding theme across all north west markets is occupier nervousness and higher levels of due diligence increasing the

time taken to convert firm interest into transactional commitment.

"This is particularly the case with larger lettings or pre-lettings, which essentially underpin take up levels.

"It is clear that this has contributed to a lag in the pipeline of transactions over the last quarter.

However, with a number of these ‘deals’ still very much on track, we expect there to be increased activity towards the end of the year.

"The central Manchester market continues to see a high number of smaller transactions within the secondary sector which yet again illustrates its scale and robustness as

indigenous occupiers continue to move."


Source: http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereven...-space-in-city
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Old August 21st, 2012, 11:46 PM   #2
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Stupid question maybe, but is it normal for a large company to take up offices on so many different sites?
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 01:50 AM   #3
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A little more on Project Digital from PNW last week,
Quote:
Project Digital, a closely guarded secret US consortium advised by Edwards & Co, is understood to have at least 100,000 sq ft under offer in more than 20 buildings in and around Manchester. Landlords have not been told the identity of the occupier apart from to reassure them the covenant is of the highest standard to enable terms to be agreed. The occupier is expected to unveil a revolutionary business technology product in its centres. Edwards & Co has been retained to find buildings for the product launch in London. Project Digital could take a further 70,000 sq ft in Manchester next year.

http://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news...beat-2011.html
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 03:45 AM   #4
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Project Digital: Is Apple Moving To Manchester?

Rumours are cropping up around an undisclosed deal – referred to only as ‘Project Digital’ – set to take place in Manchester city centre.

It is believed that US technology giant Apple is the mystery office hunter slinking around the Manchester market looking for somewhere to set up in the UK.

According to property surveyors DTZ, the as-yet anonymous corporation is looking to make a ‘significant move’ that will make a serious impact on the Manchester market as well as the rest of the world.

“It is understood that an undisclosed US technology corporate has terms agreed on 17 different Greater Manchester buildings, with seven more to follow,” says a DTZ spokesperson.

“Project Digital is set to take up to 100,000 sq ft of Grade A space in 2012, progressing to an eventual total of around 170,000 sq ft.”

Is Apple establishing a campus in the UK at last? It will raise some eyebrows if Steve Jobs’ digital empire sets itself so clearly apart from the growing start-up village that thrives in East London.

But while Google, Facebook and Amazon are circling Silicon Roundabout in a bid to be the life and soul of the London scene, that doesn’t mean Apple would be totally alone in pursuing its own party in Manchester.

This year is proving a popular one for the North West city as BUPA looks for 160,000 sq ft of office space, Jacobs Engineering hunts down 90,000 sq ft and the private colleges BPP and Futureworks both look for campuses of their own.

Could Manchester become the San Francisco to London’s Silicon dream? We’ll have to watch this space and see.
Would this move have anything to do with a thing called graphene? This graphene hub that the government has talked about perhaps? No doubt the council will have harried the companies interested for admin jobs if they want to a base in Manchester to develop this graphene technology.

Likewise, Andre Geim has wished for graphene to be a 'disruptive innovation' - i.e. revolutionary and with many practical benefits. The best way that can be achieved in possibly by a consortium/group of companies who wish to develop the technology.

From this video, I would suggest that IBM, Intel, Lockheed Martin or SanDisk could be the American 'Project Digital' company.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLxfgLgt6P4&feature=plcp
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 09:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nq View Post
A little more on Project Digital from PNW last week,
Exciting stuff, more news:

http://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news...-20-sites.html

Quote:
US tech group tees up 180,000 sq ft in 20 sites
22 Aug 2012, 07:58
Details have been released of Project Digital - the mysterious technology consortium lining up a series of lettings in Manchester - but the identities of the companies behind the inward investment are still being kept secret.
In a joint statement, the local advisers handling the project named 13 of 20 buildings where space is under offer and terms have been agreed for ten-year leases. Known until now as Project Digital, the new name for the 'highly confidential brief' was unveiled today as Tomorrow.
The local project team consists of Atul Bansal, director of interior design practice Sheila Bird Group, Andrew Timms, director of agents Edwards & Co, Richard Parkinson at Turner Parkinson Solicitors and Ben Davies at design agency The Neighbourhood. Neil Cuckson, partner at EC Harris, is advising on cost management and CDMC Services on the fit-out of the portfolio.
The joint statement said: "Each site will host ground-breaking technology that will enable local firms to explore and access business solutions, knowledge and data in an intuitive and interactive format that is completely innovative and unprecedented. The technology will be linked across all 20 buildings to facilitate collaborative problem solving, new product/service development and commercial innovation."
Bansal added: "This is an unbelievably exciting prospect for Manchester, as the first city to have access to this revolutionary technology and the potential it has to transform local businesses and the way they work, individually and together.
"As design director my team and I have had the opportunity to explore new ideas, pushing the boundaries to create a revolutionary concept. All of the spaces will differ both in style and design intent; none of the spaces will have a corporate style.
"There is nothing like this anywhere else in the world. The walls will be 'alive' and 'Tomorrow' will drive a new approach to work interactions and conversations."
Timms added: "We have approached location-mapping the Tomorrow acquisitions the same way you would a coffee franchise. Each of the buildings has been carefully selected in areas where there is a strong, critical mass of occupiers and businesses. Having one of the offerings only a short walk from the workplace will maximise accessibility and localism, enabling far more companies to benefit from this technology.
"We have had to work off market and ask for a lot of trust from landlords and office agents in lining up the deals, as we are unable to disclose who the tenant is as yet, with only the reassurance that the covenant is of the highest standard. It is fantastic to see something as unique as this come to Manchester first and for us to play such a significant part of the delivery team.
"I am delighted to be able to name the following buildings and we look forward to the next stage of rolling Tomorrow out in London."
The buildings with agreed terms are both in and out-of-town, and include:
The Hive, 47 Lever Street, Northern Quarter
1 New York Street
Chancery Place
Orange, MediaCityUK
Number One First Street
The Peninsula Manchester
Riverside, New Bailey Street
304, Bridgewater Place
Towers, Manchester
Booths Park, Knutsford
Citilab
196 Deansgate
Manchester Science Park
Quote:
"... we are unable to disclose who the tenant is as yet, with only the reassurance that the covenant is of the highest standard."




Quote:
"I am delighted to be able to name the following buildings and we look forward to the next stage of rolling Tomorrow out in London."

Last edited by hulmeman2; August 22nd, 2012 at 10:03 AM.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 09:51 AM   #6
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Everywhere everytime (or whatever T mobile and Orange are called)?

Given a 4G license yesterday, could this be on the back of that? Offering business very fast mobile internet across town in some clever manner???
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 10:23 AM   #7
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It must be to do with graphene? Why else would there be so much interest?

The product offer a cure for water shortages, semi-conductors, brewing.

Those 3 industries alone would be truly massive. I substance that can purify water by sun evaporation through it's membrane? I spend £400 a year for Lake District water, a simple solar powered tank on the roof is now possible?
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 08:28 PM   #8
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Whatever this top secret project is, it's doing a great job of mopping up a load of vacant office space. Optimism, but could well be part of the squeeze to prompt some of those proposed Grade A office developments to kick-start. Axis I'm looking your way...
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LNGCats View Post
Everywhere everytime (or whatever T mobile and Orange are called)?

Given a 4G license yesterday, could this be on the back of that? Offering business very fast mobile internet across town in some clever manner???
This project has been in the pipeline for ages though so I doubt that Everything Everywhere would bother in signing up for these buildings before their licence was guaranteed. Also, they're not American are they?
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 11:18 PM   #10
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more on tomorrow...

http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2012/0...ubbed-tomorrow

Last night, the Manchester Evening News reported a rumour that Apple could be one of 20 companies set to open in the city as part of a mysterious project known as ‘Project Digital’ or ‘Tomorrow’.

The story ran following the letting of 20 buildings, totally 180,000 sq ft, being let, with a ten-year commitment for each. The buildings are based across The Hive in the Northern Quarter of the city, MediaCity UK and Booths Park in Knutsford.

Property consultancy Edwards & Co has been appointed as advisors on developing the plans for a Manchester based, as well as a future plan to enter into London, while the Sheilda Bird Group, the interior design firm, has been working for ‘a global client’ for over two years, as its UK client design director.

Tenancy deals are understood to also have been concluded without the identities of the tenants being made known, mounting further speculation as to the size of the organisations involved.

The technology companies that are involved will form a community, which, should it go ahead, will boost the city’s digital reputation on an international scale.

Tim Newns, chief executive of the city’s development body, MIDAS described the potential of the project as being; “the most exciting digital investment in the UK,” stating that it could trigger a number of new investments within the area also.

“It is therefore a testament to Manchester’s growing reputation in the global digital community that the city has been chosen as the first location internationally to launch what will be ground-breaking technology. It will also be a huge opportunity for businesses based in Manchester and beyond to explore new ways of working to grow their competitiveness through enhanced technology,” he added.

Also known is that Manchester creative studio The Neighbourhood has been working on the launch concept for the project.

In terms of international companies working within Manchester, Google already has a small presence in city, but is heavily rumoured to be one of the 20 involved, while ITV and BBC have both set up home within MediaCity UK in the last year.

Katie Gallagher from Manchester Digital is also enthusiastic about the future for the city, should the rumored organisations choose to set up shop in the city to work together on a project, described as being ‘a world first’.

“We thought that the BBC was a game changer for the city, and indeed it was, but this gives us a whole new game altogether. Just looking at the size of the space they’re taking – we could be talking 1,000 jobs there. That is mind boggling, and another BBC sized investment into the city,” she stated.

Commenting as to what it would mean for the digital industry’s ability to retain talent within the North West of England, Gallagher was also hugely optimistic.

“There was a bit of a panic within the industry when the BBC was coming, with people wondering if they would lose their talent to the BBC. There maybe some short term issues with that, but I’d don’t think that there’s been anything close to what people expected. The great thing about having these tech companies will be that they will be able to afford to train staff and it means that we can improve that mid-level tier of talent and it helps with that eco-system of spending your whole career in the North West,” she commented.

Speculation will continue to rumble on as to exactly which the companies involved and what they will be working on, but it does look as though whatever the plans are – they are likely to be revealed in the coming months.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 12:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
The Hive, 47 Lever Street, Northern Quarter
1 New York Street
Chancery Place
Orange, MediaCityUK
Number One First Street
The Peninsula Manchester
Riverside, New Bailey Street
304, Bridgewater Place
Towers, Manchester
Booths Park, Knutsford
Citilab
196 Deansgate
Manchester Science Park
That's a pretty disparate set of locations. Surely if it was Graphene predicated there would be more around the CC & University area?
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:21 AM   #12
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Presumably its just one developer/letter marketing the city as a hub as a whole, promoting the community and then finding space for those interested wherever possible to suit their requirements.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by LNGCats View Post
Everywhere everytime (or whatever T mobile and Orange are called)?

Given a 4G license yesterday, could this be on the back of that? Offering business very fast mobile internet across town in some clever manner???
No their just using spare spectrum in the their existing frequency allocation to launch 4G services early, the other mobile firms cant launch until the Government auctions the former terrestrial tv frequencies.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 01:52 PM   #14
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I can't see it being science based if its based in heart of city centre locations or places like media city, more tech based hopefully. (selfishly!)
Seriously doubt its google they already have multiple UK locations and have already expanded in london recently.... unless it truly is a collaborative project which would be fairly mind-blowing.

Hope we get more info soon my imagination is running away with me as to what it could be.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 04:56 PM   #15
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ryjehsjdfgbdfbhsfgm,g

This STILL hasn't been released?! Come on guys hurry up. Sitting here in TfGM towers on work experience and I'm pacing up and down in my mind
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDB View Post
ryjehsjdfgbdfbhsfgm,g

This STILL hasn't been released?! Come on guys hurry up. Sitting here in TfGM towers on work experience and I'm pacing up and down in my mind
Call me a cynic, but I feel that this is going to turn out to be a major disappointment!
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Charlesstreet View Post
Futureworks, has a requirement for 25,000 sq ft.

Source: http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereven...-space-in-city
Been wondering about this COU app from last month, just spotted Futureworks gets a small mention. Whether this is the choice, or a possible option for them.

12/62042/FUL | Change of use from B1 to D1 of floors one to five | Aldine House New Bailey Street Salford

Riverside being one of the Tomorrow locations.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:15 PM   #18
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Call me a cynic, but I feel that this is going to turn out to be a major disappointment!
It won't be a disappointment, will be in the region of 2,000 decent jobs, however, I suspect many are building it up to b more than it is.

Presumably the multi site approach means some parts of the move may happen earlier than others, say R&D from company X announces that they are part of the scheme in Dec and move in in June 2013, then the HR dept says that they are also part of it in April 2013 moving in Oct 2013.

Seems very modular to me.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:38 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by hulmeman2 View Post
Call me a cynic, but I feel that this is going to turn out to be a major disappointment!
The quotes about the covenant of the lessee are reassuring. However it could still mean a public sector client partnering with a technology firm to provide some sort of unique, high spec digital infrastructure that would only be available in those office suites in the hope of luring occupiers to whom the space would be sub-let. Its all speculation at this stage.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:44 PM   #20
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Aye, 200,000sq ft of office space being let is pretty useless if it does not equate to about 2,000, preferably high paid, jobs.
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