Growing interest in Sheffield office block

Pictured is Robert Lane at Crown House,West Bar,Sheffield...
Pictured is Robert Lane at Crown House,West Bar,Sheffield...
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Several potential tenants are showing an interest in a prestigious Sheffield office block - which has stood empty since it was finished in 2010.

Property agent Robert Lane said there were “three or four” potential tenants for Crown House, opposite Crown Court on West Bar.

And the property, which is still being marketed, was becoming increasingly desirable as the amount of ‘Grade A’ office space inside the ring road dwindles.

The £8m seven-storey building is owned by the Manzoor family, which owns commercial and residential lettings firm, Sheer Challenge, based on the Wicker.

It was completed in February 2010 at the height of the global financial crash. And instead of bringing in £950,000-a-year in rent, it has never earned a penny.

The Manzoors have paid the mortgage, holding out for one occupier to take the building.

Mr Lane said: “I have done a survey and the average take up of Grade A and A/B offices in the city centre in the last three years is 150,000sq ft.

“There’s currently at most one-and-a-half year’s supply if currently vacant offices are re-let. New builds are some way off which is why Crown House is increasingly attracting interest.”

The family have owned the plot since 2001. In the Manzoors put together a deal with others to build flats and offices, but they were unable to get finance.

They were behind a second scheme launched in with a development company to build offices, whcih came good. Building started in February 2008.

In 2010 Zulfi Manzoor, said: “No one knew the crisis was going to be so bad and by the time we did we had to see it through.

“A year earlier, maybe we could have found a tenant. A year later and we might have shelved the plans. As it is, it is the worst commercial decision we have ever made.”

* Work is set to re-start on a landmark unfinished office block in Barnsley after it was sold for a song. City Reach on Burleigh Street was left as a concrete skeleton when work ground to a halt four years ago.

New owner, Julian Baker, of London, has told Barnsley Council his plan is to start finishing the job this year.