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Old February 9th, 2011, 11:58 PM   #141
morestoreysplease
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steldemetriou View Post
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18.09.09


By Mark Shepherd

A former printworks is to be resurrected as a mixed-use development

The Birmingham Post & Mail newspaper announced last month that it may have to revert from a daily edition to a weekly, such is the pressure on local newspaper revenues.

So the sight of bulldozers moving in on its old site in the centre of the city next week will be symbolic for Brummies.

Birmingham Development Company, which bought the 500,000 sq ft former printworks in August for £5m, is beginning demolition of the bunker-like structure before submitting a planning application in November for a mixed-use scheme.

Alan Chatham, director of Birmingham Development Company, describes the scheme as a ‘sequel’ to the Mailbox – its 1.5m sq ft development nearby. It will have a tower of up to 24 storeys and provide up to 800,000 sq ft of offices, retail, residential and a hotel.

It has appointed Associated Architects and structural engineer Curtins to design the scheme and is aiming for completion by 2013.

Chatham, formerly of Argent and one of the developers behind Brindleyplace, is confident about the prospects of the Post & Mail site, despite the recession and signs nearby that developers are struggling. Overlooking the site is Snowhill 2, Ballymore’s office scheme that has been prelet to law firm Wragge & Co but where the cranes have lain idle for several months.

‘We are at or close to the bottom of the market,’ says Chatham. ‘There have been developers who have got into trouble but I don’t think we are in that position. We are not going to go ahead without prelets, but I really believe we will get them. There is a demand out there for what we are proposing.’

The Cube, which is the second phase of the Mailbox, is almost fully let, says Chatham.

‘And this is during a time when people say you cannot let residential schemes.’

Local knowledge

The Post & Mail site brings with it local memory.

‘The key thing about the site is the location,’ says Chatham. ‘Everybody in Birmingham recognises it, and the history of the newspaper there means that it is very much part of local knowledge. There is a real opportunity there to turn that part of town into a lively office district. Other than Colmore Square, there is really nowhere else for office workers to congregate at lunchtime or in the evenings.’

The first three storeys of the old printworks will be retained under the development plan, as will the three basement levels, which are expansive and once housed 12 presses. After that, anything goes.

Chatham wants the proposed scheme to be a microcosm of British Land’s Broadgate in the City of London.

‘That was a classic regeneration scheme, which has brought life to an area of the City that was never really thought of as office location before. That is what we can do here,’ he says.

Its viability is helped by two factors, says Chatham. First, the site was acquired for £5.2m, when the original asking price was around £15m. Second, the Birmingham Development Company will be using its in-house contractor, BuildAbility, to carry out construction. This, he says, allows him to keep a tight rein on the project and its construction costs.

The contractor arm employs 40 people and, adds Chatham, ‘takes six months off the construction process and saves us a lot of money’. It sits alongside the property management company, which is responsible for the Mailbox and Cube projects and employs 70 people, and the development company, which has a staff of 12.

‘BuildAbility gives us about a three-year turnaround before the project is delivered,’ says Chatham. ‘By the time we get on site at the end of next year, it is likely the market is going to look very different, so I don’t think we are taking a significant risk in this. We got the site at a good price, which has meant we can do a better scheme than might have been the case.

‘Of course, if the market were to crash again tomorrow, we wouldn’t do it.’

The absence of cranes from the Birmingham skyline has been noted over the past year. If all goes well with the planning process, at least the Birmingham Development Company will be able to prove that the city is still building.



Read more: http://www.propertyweek.com/story.as...#ixzz0RTSdarHM
And to add to Bio's post about the converting the basement into carparking starting in spring has answered my last query! So that eyesore carpark next door can bite the dust then, hopefully to be replaced by that 24 floor tower!
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Old February 10th, 2011, 12:13 AM   #142
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The Birmingham Post used to be daily - it is now weekly.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 12:18 AM   #143
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What is this actually going to look what, what is the glassbox and stuff?
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Old February 10th, 2011, 03:07 AM   #144
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Argent's plans for the site were going to be much, much bigger.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #145
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Planning application submitted: 2011/01322/PA
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Old March 11th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #146
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From the Planning Statement:

The redevelopment of the Post & Mail is to be executed in two phases.
The Phase 1 redevelopment will involve the partial demolition of the existing
building above ground and insert new levels into the existing basement
volume to create a new car park (up to 800 spaces) with a new two storey
building above. This building will accommodate the car park access and
egress points, car park user facilities such as customer services and toilets,
retail units, plantroom and service areas, as well as a separate entrance for
the Phase 2 development. A full planning permission application has been
made for Phase 1, combined with an outline application for Phase 2.
The Phase 2 development is a multi-storey building sitting above the Phase
1 building. The structure of Phase 1 will allow the construction of a tall
building to a maximum height of 235m AOD. The Phase 2 development could
accommodate a range of uses including restaurant, retail, hotel, permanent
news, information and advertising display, offices, studios, residential
apartments and clinical/medical. Opportunities to accommodate cultural uses
within the building will also be explored. Refer to the Schedule of maximum
areas in the Statement of Principles for the split of accommodation between
the various uses proposed in Phase 2.
Outline consent for this building is being sought to establish the future height
and massing of the Phase 2 building, and also the uses types and maximum
areas of each thereof that will be contained within it.
The development will promote economic, community and environmental
benefits for the city as a whole. But more than that it will create a real place
and sense of destination within the Colmore Business District, providing a
mix of uses to complement and add value to the expanding office district and
becoming a real focus for the local business community.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #147
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Can't wait to see some pictures of this, good maximum height.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #148
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So maximum of around 120m then?
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Old March 11th, 2011, 06:39 PM   #149
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come on please atleast break the 200m barrier! and get a proper HILTON only brand in the city

Josh is going to be happy

Last edited by sefton66; March 11th, 2011 at 06:44 PM.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 06:52 PM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sefton66 View Post
come on please atleast break the 200m barrier! and get a proper HILTON only brand in the city

Josh is going to be happy
It's not going to break the 200m barrier. It's AOD height (height above sea level) that is set at 235m, hence my estimate of 120m being the maximum roof height.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 06:55 PM   #151
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Its 'Phase 2' as well, when ever we have something in phases, its always left for a while!
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Old March 11th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #152
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Good news
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Old March 11th, 2011, 07:21 PM   #153
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Or does not happen at all, Snowhill for instance!
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Old March 11th, 2011, 07:41 PM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey23 View Post
It's not going to break the 200m barrier. It's AOD height (height above sea level) that is set at 235m, hence my estimate of 120m being the maximum roof height.
DOH! i was wondering what AOD height means
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Old March 11th, 2011, 08:13 PM   #155
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dear lord, the big applications are coming in.... shame they are outline
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Old March 11th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodhousen View Post
dear lord, the big applications are coming in.... shame they are outline
It's a start, and a good sign that confidence is starting to return to the market.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #157
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When I'm a fully qualified architect, I will break the 200m barrier!

just wait 7 years then i will be qualified, then a futher 10 to get meself established within a certain brummy architect firm which I cannot name(though I have already sorted out who I will join-through my links)
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Old March 14th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuttonBluenose View Post
When I'm a fully qualified architect, I will break the 200m barrier!

just wait 7 years then i will be qualified, then a futher 10 to get meself established within a certain brummy architect firm which I cannot name(though I have already sorted out who I will join-through my links)
not before me
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Old March 14th, 2011, 04:29 PM   #159
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from the planning application... very early days though

a great shame imho that the multistorey appears to be staying





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Old March 14th, 2011, 05:09 PM   #160
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Be interesting. Just wait and see. I suspect the AOD 232m wont be kept too.
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