RSM, formerly Baker Tilly, will relocate about 85 people from its existing Steam Mill base to take a 8,116 sq ft floorplate on the top floor of the state-of-the-art offices near Chester Railway Station.
The audit, tax and consulting firm has agreed a 10-year lease to accommodate its rapidly growing team.
A press statement asserts the move will ‘enhance’ the working environment for RSM’s people and clients and ‘further strengthen’ the firm’s presence in the region.
One City Place, a project led by national developer and urban regeneration specialist Muse Developments, launched earlier this year and features 70,000 sq ft of office space set in Chester’s £100m Central Business Quarter.
Phil Mayall, development director at Muse, said: “We are delighted to welcome the international accountancy and business advisory firm RSM as our anchor tenant at One City Place. The move was a natural step for this dynamic business looking for top class Grade A office accommodation with excellent transport connectivity at the hub of Chester’s vibrant new business community.
“There is so much development happening in Chester with complementary schemes like Northgate and the dining quarter all making the city a better place to work, live and enjoy. We knew Chester was the right place to invest and we look forward to welcoming new businesses to One City Place and progressing the 15-year vision for the Central Business Quarter.”
Jill Jones, RSM’s regional managing partner for the North West, said: “It’s an exciting time at RSM. We’ve grown through acquisition and strategic hires over the last 12 months– enhancing our key practice areas, sector specialisms and service to clients. The move to the city’s business quarter is a key part of this growth and reinforces our position as a mid-market leader in the region and across the UK.”
Meanwhile, there has been speculation the University of Law (ULaw) wants to move from its existing Christleton base into the six-storey block after Muse submitted a change-of-use planning application that would allow the first and second floors to be converted from an office into a non-residential educational facility.
But the university is giving little away.
A spokesperson said: “Chester is an important centre for ULaw and we will continue looking for ways to strengthen and enhance our presence in the area. There currently are absolutely no plans to move from our premises in Chester.”
Knights solicitors have shown interest in City Place as its existing premises in Cuppin Street are nearly full.
Sally Wightman, partner and Chester office leader, said in April: “Given our significant growth over the last two years we are nearing capacity in our current premises. It is a good 12 months before we will be looking to move and given the time frame we are not currently in talks to progress this. Muse developments is one of a variety of options that we have looked at in the city.”
Over the next 15 years, it is estimated the business quarter will create 3,500 jobs, provide 200 new homes and retail opportunities, as well as a new hotel and leisure facilities.
City Place is part funded by a £4.8m development loan from the North West Evergreen Fund and a further £1.4m grant funding from the European Regional Development Fund.