Corn Exchange Manchester, the Grade Two Listed building being relaunched as a one of the UK’s leading dining facilities this year, has emerged as the premier location for restaurateurs in the city, according to specialist sector research by real estate advisors Colliers International. 
 
The research by the licensed and leisure team at Colliers International identified the building overlooking Exchange Square as commanding food and beverage sector-leading rents in the city of £50 per sq ft.
 
Corn Exchange is due to reopen in July 2015 following a £30m refurbishment by owners Aviva Investors Property Trust and Queensberry Real Estate. It will be home to 17 restaurants including several firsts for Manchester and a 114-apartment Roomzzz Aparthotel.
 
The analysis identified Deansgate as the preferred location for premium restaurants in Manchester, commanding rents of up to £40 per sq ft and the Northern Quarter as the preferred choice of independent restaurant operators, achieving rents of £10 to £15 per sq ft.
 
Premises for restaurant operators in the central business district of Spinningfields attracted rents of £35 to £40 per sq ft while those at Deansgate Locks – which boasted the highest concentration of food and beverage providers in the city - paid between £25 and £27 per sq ft.

Colliers International focused on four clusters of food and beverage providers in Manchester to establish which type of restaurants prefer which locations.

Colin Siebert, director licensed and leisure at the Manchester office of Colliers International, explained the success of Corn Exchange by saying: “Food and beverage providers are willing to pay top dollar for premises at Corn Exchange because the building is in an outstanding location and has been transformed into a centre for dining – restaurant operators want to be with other restaurant operators in order to attract more business by the creation of a circuit.”

He said it had also benefited from Manchester being on the target list of most operators’ with high profile openings in the city in 2014 and 2015 including several from London such as Hawksmoor and Burger and Lobster.

Will Beckett of Hawksmoor said: “We picked Manchester mostly because we love spending time there. It’s an amazing city with a great energy and we feel like what we do at Hawksmoor was really in keeping with the kind of city it is – really high standards but a relaxed place where you can have a really good time.”

Mr Siebert added: “Manchester’s licensed circuit continues to thrive with 158 of the 327 units in Manchester currently operated by food and beverage operators. The new mixed-use developments at First Street and Noma will provide further opportunities for growth in the food and beverage offering and overall, the market has never looked brighter.”