Arena owner launches ‘rare’ leisure opportunity in Manchester

Arena owner launches ‘rare’ leisure opportunity in Manchester

LondonMetric Property is seeking an operator to occupy over 100,000 square feet of vacant space within its AO Arena complex.

Specialist consultancy Stärka was hired by LondonMetric Property to lease the opportunity, which has been named Victoria Exchange.

The space, which historically housed offices and the Arena 7 cinema, is accessed via Trinity Way and Manchester Victoria Station. The space is currently split over two floors; there is a 50,000 sq ft unit at ground level and the remainder is spread across a mezzanine.

Designed by Corstorphine & Wright to cater to large-format experiential operators, the space benefits from seven-metre floor-to-ceiling heights, according to the owner.

There is also a direct link to a 980-space car park next door. This could be converted to create a 1.7-acre terrace under indicative proposals.

Adam Crossley, associate at LondonMetric Property, said: “This new leisure venue has been designed to capitalise on significant recent successes[in the vicinity].

A 1.7-acre terrace is part of the vision. Credit: via Aver PR

“Following the completion of a large-scale investment project and the launch of the brand-new ‘Mezz’ VIP experience earlier this year at the iconic AO Arena, we are confident that the right operator will further drive the venue’s reputation, traffic and success.”

The launch of the space follows the publication of a report by Cushman & Wakefield identifying Manchester as one of six English cities that could accommodate up to 415,000 sq ft of new experiential leisure operators, LondonMetric said.

David Bell, co-founder of Stärka, added: “The combination of a large-format, bespoke venue within an established leisure and entertainment destination in a world-renowned city is very rare.

“Consequently, we are already experiencing strong interest from international operators looking to launch in the UK, alongside a range of new concepts or an established brand looking for something unique.”

Launched in 2022 by Bell and Sammy Jones, Stärka has advised several leisure operators on deals totalling over 56,000m², including Gravity Active Entertainment, Blacklock, Côte, Bundobust, Oxygen FreeJumping and Bean Coffee.