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Trilogy and Blenheim Chalcot to Launch Mould-breaking Tech/property Venture in Manchester

In an unprecedented tie-up between a tech business and a property company, Robert Wolstenholme’s Trilogy Property has formed a joint venture with Blenheim Chalcot, the UK’s leading venture builder, to create a new model office for innovation businesses.

The pair have bought 101 Princess Street in Manchester city centre to create a mix of accelerator space and high quality offices, initially for Blenheim Chalcot owned ventures but with potential to widen the occupier base to other like-minded businesses.

101 Princess Street is a Grade II listed seven-storey period building totalling 39,000 sq ft in an emerging tech quarter of Manchester, which Trilogy and Blenheim Chalcot acquired from Lone Star for more than £5 million. The building, recently refurbished to a loft-style specification with stripped oak flooring and cast iron columns, is 70% let to tenants including an online gaming company, a marketing agency and two popular Manchester nightclubs. Two floors remain vacant.

The joint venture aims to foster a creative and digital community where technology enabled growth companies can take space in Blenheim Chalcot’s new Accelerate Places venue and also offers more permanent space to established or growing businesses on other levels of the building. Accelerate Places provides flexible work space for high-growth companies outside the Blenheim Chalcot stable. 

Robert Wolstenholme, Managing Director of Trilogy Property, said:

“This is an entirely new way of providing workspace for creative, digital and innovation-led businesses. By working directly with a venture builder like Blenheim Chalcot, we can create a collaborative community of innovation businesses, underpinned by solid investor backing and certainty of occupational demand. We’ll also be bringing jobs to Manchester and stimulating local start-ups and high-growth companies.”

Blenheim Chalcot is a venture builder, a holding company that owns equity in a growing number of technology businesses it has helped create. It currently owns or invests in 23 companies with more than 3,000 employees and is active in sectors including IT services and outsourcing, financial services, education, travel, software, sport and media. 

Manoj Badale, co-founder of Blenheim Chalcot said:

“Our move into property investment means we can provide great office environments for businesses and retain property value as investors. We’re in the tech business and we know what tech businesses want. Trilogy is an ideal partner as they are pioneers in workspace development who share our insight and ambition.”

101 Princess Street will be Trilogy Property’s third major venture, since former Resolution Property director Robert Wolstenholme formed the company last year. Trilogy’s other projects include the nearby Great Northern Warehouse scheme, with partners Peterson Group of Hong Kong, where master-planning is underway to reinvent the site as a as a world-class residential, commercial and leisure quarter for Manchester. Trilogy, with funding partner LaSalle Investment Management, is also in the initial stages of development at East India Dock in London’s Docklands, where it has plans to reposition a 1990s office campus as a new hub for the burgeoning innovation, co-working, cultural and tech sectors.

Trilogy and Blenheim Chalcot are currently exploring opportunities to open similar hybrid accelerator/office spaces in other UK cities.

Metis Real Estate advised the joint venture. CBRE advised the vendors.