The Oxford Road Corridor in Manchester is a vibrant and economically significant area, contributing significantly to the city’s economic output. It is home to renowned educational institutions, major healthcare facilities, research centers, and various commercial developments. In this overview, we will delve into the commercial real estate market in the Oxford Road Corridor, exploring its key features, recent developments, and potential opportunities.
The Oxford Road Corridor holds great economic importance within Greater Manchester. With a yearly Gross Value Added (GVA) of £3 billion, it consistently contributes 20% to Manchester’s economic output and sustains over 70,000 jobs. This region’s economic vitality is driven by the presence of major educational institutions such as The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Royal Northern College of Music, which attract around 75,000 students. Additionally, the corridor houses the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Science Park, and various commercial, retail, and leisure developments.
The Oxford Road Corridor has witnessed several notable developments in recent years, enhancing its reputation as a thriving commercial hub. These developments include:
UK Biobank Relocation: The UK Biobank, a significant data source and biological sample repository, has chosen to relocate to Manchester Science Park within the Oxford Road Corridor. This move reinforces the area’s reputation as a center for innovation and research.
Innovation Accelerator Program: Eight projects in the Oxford Road Corridor have received funding and support through the Innovation Accelerator program. This initiative aims to foster innovation and support the growth of businesses in the area, further boosting its economic prospects.
Specialist Lab Space: Bruntwood SciTech has unveiled plans for a £60 million specialist lab space at Manchester Science Park. This development will provide state-of-the-art facilities for research and development activities, attracting scientific and technological enterprises to the corridor.
Manchester Museum Transformation: Following a £15 million transformation, the Manchester Museum has reopened its doors, offering an enriched cultural experience to visitors. This renovation enhances the overall appeal of the Oxford Road Corridor as a vibrant and culturally diverse destination.
Commercial Real Estate Market Outlook:
As we assess the commercial real estate market in the Oxford Road Corridor, it is essential to consider broader market trends and challenges that impact the sector as a whole. While economic uncertainty persists in the commercial real estate industry, there are positive indicators to consider:
Strong Performance of Multifamily and Industrial Properties: Multifamily properties, such as residential apartment complexes, and industrial properties continue to perform well in the market. These segments attract both investors and tenants due to their stable income potential and increasing demand.
Underestimated Strength of Neighborhood Retail: Despite the challenges faced by traditional brick-and-mortar retail, neighborhood retail spaces have shown resilience. These local retail centers often cater to the immediate community and offer convenience, supporting their continued success.
Uncertain Future of Office Space: The future of office space remains uncertain, with factors such as remote work trends and changing workplace dynamics. However, A-class office properties generally fare better than B- and C-class buildings in terms of demand and occupancy rates.
Opportunities for Investors: Despite the challenges, there are opportunities for investors in the commercial real estate market. These include exploring agency lending options, leveraging proptech innovations to streamline operations, and adopting digital rent payment solutions to enhance tenant experiences and operational efficiency.
The Oxford Road Corridor in Manchester serves as a significant commercial real estate market, driven by its economic significance and the presence of leading educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and research centers. Recent developments, such as the relocation of UK Biobank, the Innovation Accelerator program, and the specialist lab space at Manchester Science Park, further enhance its appeal. While challenges and uncertainties persist in the broader commercial real estate sector, the Oxford Road Corridor continues to offer potential opportunities for investors, particularly in multifamily and industrial properties, as well as neighborhood retail. With its dynamic environment and ongoing developments, the corridor remains an attractive destination for commercial real estate ventures in Manchester.