The Greater Manchester Pension Fund has formed a joint venture with Patrizia Immobilien to invest in its home city.

The UK local authority scheme’s Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund is co-investing in a £75m (€98m) office development. 

Patrizia is development manager on the scheme, while Carillion is building contractor.

Completion is due in 2017.

The 173,600 sq ft office scheme, at First Street, has been partially pre-let to Gazprom, which has taken 39,570 sq ft of space with a further option on 11,590 sq ft.

Greater Manchester, a £400m property development fund for the north west of England, said the scheme would further support the economic development of Manchester and the wider north west region.

James Muir, managing director for Patrizia in the UK and Ireland, said: “Demand is there from occupiers, and investors are keen to back vibrant schemes such as First Street.”

Patrizia acquired First Street, a mixed use scheme in central Manchester, in May last year, managing the site with Ask Developments.

First Street currently includes a 180,000 sq ft office building fully let to Ford, Auto Trader and Jacobs Engineering, and a 208-bed hotel.

Patrizia said the site had capacity for further office development, as well as 600 private-rented sector (PRS) residential units.

Patrizia bought the site last year.

At the time, Muir said Manchester’s attractive economic and demographic fundamentals were behind the decision to invest in the UK city, along with a “growing trend for urbanisation”.