News that demolition will get under way later this year on a stalled £500 million commercial project in Birmingham’s city centre is seen as marking a turnaround for the development market in the regions. Thousands of construction jobs are expected to be created by developments to get under way this year and next.
Developer of the Arena Central Developments scheme – one of the UK’s largest city centre projects and a key part of Birmingham council’s Big City Plan - has announced that the first phase of work on the 9.2 acre site will start shortly and detailed planning permission will be sought for a Make Architects designed seven storey office building providing 140,000 sq ft of offices.
The development of the site has been mooted since 2003 when Miller Developments and Bridgehouse Capital formed a 50:50 joint venture. Work started in June last year on preparations for a 210 bedroom Holiday Inn Express hotel on part of the site.
The vision for Arena Central is to create a number of ‘oven-ready’ development plots, all of which will be set within a public realm with a uniquely landscaped pedestrian walkway running through the heart of the scheme.
Outline planning consent is in place for a 2.3 million sq ft masterplan for a mixed use development, including 800,000 sq ft of Grade A offices, hotels and some 200,000 sq ft of apartments. Retail and leisure development will provide around 1.2 million sq ft of space and a landscaped public area will be the centrepiece of the scheme.
Dandara Properties, the UK’s largest independent developer, owns part of the site and had secured planning permission for the V Building, an iconic 50 storey residential tower designed by Eric Kuhne, but this has been scaled down and a new building design is expected to be announced shortly.
The project is adjacent to the £450 million Paradise Circus mixed use development where Argent is undertaking a 1.8 million sq ft mixed use scheme that is to start on site next year.