Investors reaping rewards after buying from Helical


Pictet and XLB have secured a pair of lettings at their refurbished Tootal Buildings in Manchester totalling more than 30,000 sq ft, React News can reveal.

Flexible workspace provider Orega has continued its expansion in the city by taking more than 20,000 sq ft on a phased basis throughout the building.

The company has partnered with XLB and Pictet to capture demand from occupiers looking for spaces of less than 5,000 sq ft, and the site will be its latest large letting.

React News revealed the company had inked a deal for its fourth site in at 1 Balloon Street earlier this month, with the group signing a lease with landlord Wittington Investments for a 26,000 sq ft space.

Pictet and XLB have also secured tech recruitment firm Maxwell Bond on a 10-year lease for a space just short of 8,200 sq ft. The company works with numerous start-ups and high growth businesses in the tech and digital sector, including Cinch, On the Beach, Known Origin and Apadmi.

The lettings follow an extensive refurbishment of the Tootal Buildings by the investors after buying the asset from Helical alongside Fourways House and 35 Dale Street in 2020 for around £119m.

Tootal transformation

The Tootal Buildings on Oxford Street total 245,000 sq ft and are made up of the interlinked Churchgate and Lee buildings.

Works have included a new reception, business lounge and café, refurbished office space, cycle and shower facilities and new inner courtyard gardens and amenity space. The building has now achieved a BREAAM In Use Very Good rating.

CBRE acted on behalf of Maxwell Bond. Edwards & Co acted on behalf of Pictet & XLB alongside joint agent CBRE.

Tony Lawson, partner at XLB, said: “These recent lettings are testament to the importance occupiers place on providing the right environment for their staff and business. The Tootal Buildings provide a beautiful place to work, it has an active tenant community and strong underlying ESG credentials.”

Ed Keany, director at Edwards & Co, said: “Following an intensive programme of investment transforming the buildings, introducing best in class amenities and focussing heavily on ESG, we are pleased to welcome Maxwell Bond and Orega. Providing a great place to work and grow businesses has been XLB’s focus since acquiring the buildings in late 2020.

“Both companies choosing to continue their rapid growth within the buildings is a testament to the quality and focus of the recent investment.”