Ashford Commercial Quarter have agreed to sell Connect 38 to Folkestone and Hythe District Council.
Completed in June 2018, the award-winning Connect 38 was constructed by Quinn Estates and George Wilson Holdings.
The developers were credited for unlocking town-centre regeneration and have delivered 80,000 sq ft of premium office and retail space.
Dr Susan Priest, Head of Paid Service at Folkestone and Hythe District Council, said: “Local authorities across the UK are having to be more business-minded when it comes to service delivery, as the amount we receive in government grant reduces.
“To keep our portion of council tax bills as low as we can, that includes looking at innovative ways to generate income that will support us in continuing to deliver excellent services for the people of Folkestone and Hythe.
“The Connect 38 building is a fantastic investment opportunity for us, in a great location that has already proved popular for some fantastic businesses. We share many of the same aspirations as Ashford with a growing creative quarter and our own ambitious plans for the future.
“To achieve our objectives, we need to be bold on behalf of our residents so that we can seize the opportunities that are out there and create our own success, attracting more investment to our part of the county.”
Connect 38 has proved to be very successful in attracting numerous amounts of tenants, including tech firm PageSuit, and leading accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy. #
The building had already been 75% let before even launching, and is in a fantastic location near the Ashford International rail station.
Mark Quinn, Chief Executive and Chairman of Quinn Estates said: “We’re proud of what we have delivered at Connect 38 with its success showing the potential of future phases of Ashford’s Commercial Quarter. We wish Folkestone and Hythe Council well with their investment.
“This was the first spec build in Kent in 20 years and a real example of what you can get done when local authorities and developers work together. Thanks to that professional relationship, we were able to put in place a real economic driver for Ashford that will deliver benefits to the borough for years to come.”
Tracey Kerly, Chief Executive, Ashford Borough Council, said: “Connect 38 has been a real success story for Ashford, one of our Big 8 regeneration projects and the largest office block of its type built in Kent over the 20 years, delivering new jobs and unlocking further investment as a result.
“It has put down a marker for the future expansion of the Ashford Commercial Quarter, starting with the adjoining Coachworks project, a mixed-use campus providing co-working space, flexible event space and a new food and drink destination.
“With Connect 38 completed along with many of our other key projects, including the opening of the neighbouring Ashford College and Elwick Place, we are now focused on the next chapter in our ongoing drive of delivering success for Ashford.”