Commercial property specialists Orbit Developments have exceeded pre-pandemic levels of office leasing as businesses return to the workplace.
The Cheshire based company, part of the Emerson Group, is among the largest commercial landlords in Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Macclesfield and South Manchester, with a portfolio of over 62 properties, including Tytherington Business Village (pictured) in Macclesfield.
During the height of pandemic restrictions in 2020, Orbit Developments saw the number of lettings almost halve; however, the end of measures has seen a remarkable recovery for the commercial property market in the North West. Figures released showed Orbit’s office take-up for South Manchester in Jan-Dec 2019 was 208,303 sq ft, significantly more than the pandemic year of 2020 when it dropped to 123,340 sq ft, but in 2021 lettings are back in rude health with 245,195 sq ft of office take up across the area.
Orbit’s Managing Director Tony Jones commented:
“The market has generally remained pretty resilient despite the impact of the second lockdown at the start of 2021 and, more recently, the measures brought in to tackle Omicron.
“Customers are telling us that they value the role physical offices play in ensuring business success and staff wellbeing and, while we know the way in which they use the space will change and evolve, they are looking at planned returns. It is good news.”
It was also a massively positive final few months of the year in terms of general activity and deals completed for Orbit – almost 180,000 sq ft of lettings was delivered across a diverse range of property including retail, industrial, office and leisure, with retail leading the recovery charge. Tony Jones continued:
“Out of town and high street retail has come back a lot stronger than we could have expected with customers returning in numbers to large outdoor retail parks and retailers following the trend. Many have either renewed existing leases or taken space in new units.”
Brands continuing to invest in the region include Pure Gym in Orbit’s Macclesfield Silk Road development (9,720 sq ft) and global software engineering business Mobica, which has been retained in Crown House, Wilmslow (5,135 sf ft).
Wilmslow is a suburban community which continues to benefit from the trend towards more local shopping and entertaining and is out-performing larger covered retail shopping centres. Tony concluded:
“It is a buoyant picture. We will continue to work closely with customers across our portfolio to meet their needs in 2022 and help them deliver the best possible letting solution they can for their businesses.”