Gorse Academies Trust advised by JLL has acquired the former Environment Agency building Phoenix House on the Milshaw Business Park, which will open as Elliot Hudson College in September following a period of refurbishment work.
The Trust currently runs the Morley and Farnley Academies and has just established the Ruth Gorse Academy which is due to move to purpose built premises on Black Bull Street in Hunslet in autumn 2016.
Biggest freehold disposal in Leeds City centre since 2012
The 40,000 sq ft building was originally developed as offices and labs for the Environment Agency but had subsequently been comprehensively refurbished. Adam Varley, director of office agency at Lambert Smith Hampton in Leeds, said the deal was the biggest of its kind in the city for three years.
He said: “This is a well-located, high specification building which received significant interest due to the dearth of properties of this kind currently available on a freehold basis.
“With the Gorse Academies Trust looking for a suitable property near to its existing facilities in south Leeds, it very much met its requirements and will be a key part of the Trust’s strategic growth story in the city.
“The deal is also almost twice the size of the biggest freehold acquisition last year and the last deal of this scale since the sale of The Printworks to Leeds City College in 2012.”
Mark Holmes, Surveyor at DTZ also commented, “This transaction demonstrates the ability of well designed office buildings to be reinvented in a sustainable form to accommodate alternative uses. This is a trend we expect to see continue.”
New college will offer 36 A Level subjects
The new college, which will offer 36 A Level subjects and has established a special partnership with Cambridge University, will replace the current sixth form provision at
Morley and Farnley.
LSH and DTZ represented Hudson Advisors who were managing the sale of the building while JLL represented the Gorse Academies Trust.