Commercial Property News

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Thursday, April 12, 2023

Morley Fund Management acquires York House, Leeds for 4.8m

Atisreal's Leeds investment team, acting on behalf of Morley Fund Management, has acquired York House in Leeds City Centre for 4.8m from London based property group, Rotch.

York House, situated on York Place in the heart of the traditional office core, comprises a 23,850sq ft modern purpose built office providing four floors of good quality office space, the majority of which is currently occupied by the Secretary of State. Atisreal's Leeds office agency team has also been appointed to let the remaining 4,004 sq ft first floor refurbished office suite.

The deal, which represents a 5.35% initial yield, is the latest in a continuing relationship between Atisreal and Morley, which is a wholly owned, independently managed UK-based asset management business of Aviva plc. Morley currently manage 165.89bn of assets, including 29 billion in property, making them one of the largest and most successful managers of property assets in the UK and Europe.

Last year, Morley acquired 33 Park Place, the adjacent building to York House and subsequently successfully secured a flurry of lettings including RG Group, UK Passport Office, Willis Group, SGP Architects and most recently, TUC. Prior to Morley's acquisition and Atisreal's appointment as letting agents, only one of the floors at 33 Park Place was let, with Brit Insurance and Turley Associates occupying the first floor, and now following the lettings success only one floor is available, part of which is under offer, in the 41,975sq ft building.

Rebecca Farnsworth, Director of Investment at Atisreal, Leeds says; "We're delighted to have secured the acquisition of York House for Morley Fund Management. York House represents a strong investment providing a number of opportunities in the medium term given its excellent location, on site parking and proximity to 33 Park Place which is a proven success. This acquisition will further strengthen Morley's interests in Leeds City Centre and we look forward to the continued relationship."

Renos Booth, Fund Manager at Morley FM, continues; "Following on from the success we have enjoyed with 33 Park Place, the acquisition of York House was a natural progression. Leeds is such a key regional centre and as a fund management house we have been keen to invest in property within the City. York House is within the prime core of Leeds business district and with its excellent floorplates, presented an ideal investment opportunity. We have been impressed with the commitment of Atisreal on 33 Park Place and it seemed entirely appropriate to re-appoint them on this exciting new venture."

Nikki Moore, Associate Director at Atisreal says; "Morley's flexible letting strategy has proven beneficial to Leeds occupiers. Morley successfully responds to market demand by offering shorter term leases and subdividing floors to accommodate current requirements as well as maintaining competitive rentals. We have taken advantage of a gap in the Leeds office market and will undoubtedly enjoy continued success with the remaining space at York House."