Moorfield and Highbridge sell fully-let 125,000 sq ft Newcastle office building for GBP25 million

UK real estate private equity fund manager Moorfield, acting on behalf of Moorfield Real Estate Fund IV (MREF IV), and Highbridge Properties, a leading UK commercial developer, have completed the sale of the Zeta building, a 125,912 sq ft Grade-A office building on Cobalt Park, the UK’s largest business park located in Newcastle upon Tyne, for GBP25 million. 

The building was recently let to The Sage Group plc, the UK’s largest technology company.

Originally known as Cobalt 23, the property was acquired by MREFIV and Highbridge Properties in 2017, following which they undertook a repositioning of the asset, with improved landscaping and a rebranding as the Zeta building. The modern, Grade-A building provides 125,912 sq ft arranged over ground and four upper floors and benefits from strong sustainability credentials, being rated BREEAM ‘Very Good’.
Representing the largest ever letting in the North East office market, in December 2019 Sage agreed new leases for 203,728 sq ft across two adjacent buildings, Cobalt 22 & the Zeta building, on the park. Sage is currently investing in a complete re-fit for what will be its UK headquarters, to provide a world class office experience for employees, customers and partners.
Charles Ferguson-Davie, Chief Investment Officer of Moorfield Group, adds: “This investment has performed well for our investors with an earlier than anticipated sale. We saw this as an opportunity to reposition the property, taking advantage of the supply and demand imbalance for high quality offices in the area, and the attractions of Cobalt Park, to meet the needs of occupiers.
“It marks the team’s latest success for our UK office strategy, which has seen us acquire, refurbish, lease and then dispose of some three million sq ft, or GBP1 billion, of office space in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.”
Guy Marsden, director of Highbridge Properties, developers and part-owners of Cobalt Park, says: “We identified Sage as an occupier for the space and worked with Moorfield to relocate Sage to Cobalt. Cobalt Park is the largest office park in the UK, employing over 14,000 people and benefiting from excellent local infrastructure. Providing 1,618,000 sq ft of high-quality office space in a 250-acre parkland setting, it is home to a world class occupier base including P&G, Accenture, Sage, IBM, Santander, EE, Siemens, Leeds Building Society and the NHS.”
Moorfield and Highbridge were advised on the transaction by ACRE Capital Real Estate.