Private equity real estate investment firm Castleforge Partners has announced a significant expansion of its UK operation with the acquisition of four major office spaces across England.
Castleforge has purchased Yorkshire House in Leeds, Linley House in Manchester, Broadwalk House in Exeter, and Mountbatten House in Southampton. The four sites together hold a gross development value of over £175 million.
The investment comes as Castleforge looks to expand its foothold in the UK’s secondary cities which the firm has identified as having great potential to grow as national and regional business hubs.
Castleforge identified the locations as prime investment opportunities in their respective cities given their excellent access to transport links, central corporate location, and proximity to local amenities.
The four cities also all contain internationally renowned universities and growing populations of young working professionals.
The firm, which closed its most recent real estate fund at over £270m, has gained a reputation for investing in office property in undersupplied markets across the UK. It plans to use its flexible workspace provider Clockwise to deliver a positive experience for occupants as well as attractive returns for its investors.
Through Clockwise, Castleforge plans to meet the increasing demand from companies in the four cities for alternatives to traditional fixed-term office space leases. By owning the properties outright, Castleforge can offer Clockwise members more flexibility and shorter-term contracts without facing pressure from external landlords.
These new acquisitions signal continued confidence from Castleforge’s investors in secondary city growth, even amid COVID-19 uncertainty. The firm’s in-house research has predicted a rise in popularity in these regions as working and living trends continue to evolve.
Brandon Hollihan, founding partner of Castleforge Partners, said: “Select secondary cities in the UK are continuing to grow as business hubs for young professionals and exciting start-ups. We are thrilled to be contributing to these vibrant professional communities in every corner of the country.
“Moving forward, for many companies flexibility is going to be key when it comes to office space leases. Through our flexible workspace provider Clockwise, we are very well positioned to offer this type of bespoke service to our members.”