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London Property Investment Firm gives vote of confidence in the North East

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

London Property Investment Firm gives vote of confidence in the North East

PAI member Naylors Gavin Black has secured an office & leisure investment in the heart of Newcastle – the first major acquisition in the region by London-based flexible office specialists, Airivo.

Airivo has purchased Grainger Chambers, on Hood Street, as it looks to expand and diversify its property portfolio outside the capital and the Midlands. The seven-storey building features five-floors of office space above a ground floor and basement bar occupied by Cuban bar, Castros. The transaction involved the vendor, Newcastle Building Society, remaining in two floors of the offices on a short term lease.

The deal was sourced off-market on behalf of Airivo by Naylors Gavin Black’s team of property investment and acquisition experts. Having delivered the acquisition, it has been retained to provide Office Agency , Property Management and Building Consultancy services for new owners Airivo.

Grainger Chambers sits near to the East Pilgrim Street regeneration area, where HMRC recently committed to move 9,000 staff into an office development. Pilgrim Place, which blends business and leisure opportunities, includes Bank House, a 120,000 sq. ft office development, and The Old Fire Station building, which is to be converted into the only 5-star hotel in Newcastle city centre.

Naylors Gavin Black is seeing growing interest from property investors and businesses seeking opportunities in the North East, and particularly Newcastle. In March, the firm will be part of a delegation representing Invest Newcastle at MIPIM, the world’s most prestigious property investment event.

Chris Donabie, Partner at Naylors Gavin Black, said: “Grainger Chambers is a very interesting proposition and one where we see our client adding real value. It offers the chance to refurbish the office space to improve the rental tone and we have seen similar refurbishments on Grey Street recently, which have all been met very positively by the still very active city centre occupier market. It allows Airivo to put their own stamp on the property and replicate similar successes they have had further down the country. In addition, the bar area should benefit from increased worker numbers coming into the city centre, not least the reported 9,000 staff that will occupy the nearby HMRC campus once it is built”.

“We are seeing more and more enquiries and instructions from investors who are looking to the North East for opportunities like this. Undoubtedly attracted by developments such as the £300m quayside development and HMRC’s move into the city centre, which only serve to give them confidence in long-term returns.

“The North East is on the up and we’re pleased to be positioned to help our clients make the most of the momentum we’re experiencing as the Government turns it attention to the regions as part of its levelling up agenda. This is exactly the type of opportunity we will be highlighting to investors at MIPIM.”

Naveen Bhandari, CEO of Airivo, said: “We are a predominantly London-based flexible space operator; however, we now have strategic ambitions to increase our presence in other UK regions.”

“As an independent operator ourselves, we have enjoyed the opportunity to work with Naylors Gavin Black who are a like-minded progressive firm. “We look forward to further developing our relationship with Naylors Gavin Black as we work together to attract tenants to vacant space in Grainger Chambers and identify further investment opportunities.”

Adam Heather partner at DWF acted on behalf of Airivo.

Mike Birkett of Reid Birkett represented the vendor, Newcastle Building Society.