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Snowhill 2 | Snow Hill Queensway | Offices | 15fl | 75m | Comp.

263393 Views 1711 Replies 149 Participants Last post by  nigeman
for consistancy
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Construction to start next year. :)
Damn they are so slow on this scheme. honestly if they keep going this was they'll never get the whole scheme developed within 18months.. disgraceful ;)
Birmingham Post reports Wragge & co. have signed up for up to 250 000 sq ft at 2 Snowhill, to be occupied in 2011.

Wonder who will build it and when it will start?
Wragge & Co sign up for Snow Hill development
Apr 22 2008 By John Duckers, Business Editor

Birmingham law firm Wragge & Co has signed up to new offices in Snow Hill in the city, claimed to be the largest ever pre-let agreement in the city centre.

The firm will move into Two Snowhill, part of the £500 million gateway site being developed by Ballymore Properties, in 2011.

It has secured up to 250,000 sq ft space over 11 floors on a 20-year lease with flexibility to accommodate up to 1,800 people.

Ian Metcalfe, managing partner, said: "Choosing this quality and quantity of office space in Snow Hill, the heart of Birmingham's future, is a terrific vote of confidence from the partnership in our long-term commitment to the city where we started, and where our roots are still firmly planted.

"Our choice of Two Snowhill is the biggest single financial commitment we have ever made in the firm's 174-year history but is typical of our willingness to invest in the future."

Mr Metcalfe said the credit crunch had made the firm think twice over the move and he had taken "a long intake of breath" before signing the deal.

But the firm had been around since the 1830s, had moved into its current main premises at 55 Colmore Row at the height of the early 1990s recession, and "hopefully the market will have turned by the time we move in".

Mr Metcalfe went on: "We have a huge commitment to Birmingham. Our business continues to grow. We felt we should make a long term decision which reflected our long term view of business generally.

"A recession is always a time of opportunity for us. Eighty per cent of our business comes from outside Birmingham, and, having the bulk of our operation here allows us to offer a highly competitive cost base."

Of the firm's 1,197 people, 1,033 work in Birmingham – including 658 fee earners – making it one of the city's largest employers and the largest law firm by some distance.

Its success is based on a business model of winning work in London, the South-east and from international markets, which is then delivered wherever clients demand but typically by Birmingham lawyers at competitive rates.

Wragge is the 25th largest law firm in the UK based on turnover – £112 million in 2007/2008 – but 12th on the list of advisers to FTSE-100 and FTSE-250 companies.

Currently spread across three sites – Colmore Row, One Victoria Square and Bank House – the firm looked at various options including Colmore Plaza, Baskerville House and the Grand Hotel.

But the Grand has all sorts of conservation issues around it and would still have left the firm in two buildings. Baskerville House would have been tight on space and was outside the core city centre. And the partners voted for Snowhill over Colmore Plaza because, among other reasons, they preferred the former's design of atria running through the building and terraces at the top suitable for entertaining clients.

Mr Metcalfe added: "One of our strengths is what we call our single team approach and accommodating that many people in one site has proved to be quite a challenge. However, it will be worth the wait for Two Snowhill, which is an absolutely stunning location in every sense. It will also strengthen our reputation as an employer of choice."

Ballymore Properties – Ballymore is a Wragge client – will provide "shell and core" space by mid 2010. A shortlist of architects and designers has already been drawn up.

When complete, the ambitious redevelopment of Birmingham Snow Hill Queensway will deliver more than one million sq ft of high-quality offices, in two distinctive buildings each with floor plates up to 25,000 sq ft. Two Snowhill totals 320,000 sq ft. Two hundred residential apartments are also planned, along with retail and leisure space and a 5-star hotel. Last year accountants KPMG signed up to take 120,000 sq ft in One Snowhill.

Wragge has recruited a new head of facilities, Penny March, to manage the move logistics.

The firm is expected to try and sublet its Colmore Row offices, where it has a lease to 2017.

Real estate partner Robert Caddick assisted by solicitor Matthew Walker, with construction director Paul Green and insurance partner Mark Hick have been leading negotiations with Ballymore's legal advisers Michael Stancombe and Daniel Norris from Lovells. Geoff Thomas of DTZ and Nigel Britten, of ATISReal, advised Wragge on all commercial and procurement aspects.
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Wragge’s signs at Ballymore’s Snowhill
06:15 | 22.04.08

Ballymore has signed up Birmingham’s largest office pre-let at its Snowhill scheme in the city.

Birmingham-based solicitor Wragge & Co has signed up to take 250,000 sq ft of offices at Two Snowhill, the second office building at Ballymore’s 1m sq ft mixed-use Snowhill development.

Wragge’s will move from its existing office at 55 Colmore Row in the city into the 14 storey scheme 2011.

Ian Metcalfe, managing partner of Wragge & Co, said: ‘It reflects our position as a leading UK law firm and will provide us with the long-term flexibility to adapt and grow as our clients require.’

Ballymore will start on site on the 320,000 sq ft building in June with completion due in 2011. The Siddell Gibson designed scheme includes building one, where KPMG has signed up to take a 120,000 sq ft, and building three which includes the city’s first five-star hotel.
Good news and something that augurs well for Birmingham .
Another article from The

Wragges signs lease on new Birmingham HQ
Luke McLeod-Roberts

Wragge & Co is preparing to move into new headquarters in Birmingham, putting an end to a one-year search for bigger premises.

According to managing partner Ian Metcalfe the firm has signed a lease, which begins in 2011, on new development Two Snowhill. The building, which is being developed by Ballymore Properties, comprises 300,000 sq ft and Wragges will occupy 250,000 sq ft over floors four to 11.

Metcalfe said the deal represents the largest pre-let in the centre of Birmingham by a factor of two.

The Lawyer reported on 7 April that Wragges was looking to consolidate its three Birmingham offices in a single larger site and was in advanced stages of negotiation.

The firm looked at Carlyle Group's Colmore Plaza, Baskerville House in Centenary Square and even expanding into buildings adjacent to its Colmore Row site, according to Metcalfe. However, it decided on Two Snowhill, because it allows flexibility to rent out as well as strong environmental credentials.

The building is to have specially angled deflectors on windows to reduce solar gain and the need for air conditioning as well as appropriate lighting and recycling systems, according to Metcalfe.

"We hope it will be the greenest building in Birmingham," he added.

Penny March has been brought in from Mayer Brown as head of facilities with responsibility for managing the move. She will consult with employees over the interior specification and design of the future building
this is all very good news coming out here... and a june start, that will be interesting to see!
Should be finished about the same time as the tower then! :)
Article from US website

Wragge Leases 250,000 SF in Two Snowhill

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND-Law firm Wragge & Co. LLP has agreed to lease 250,000 sf in the planned 320,000-sf Two Snowhill office building here. The building is part of the UK$300 million (US$594 million), one-million-sf Snowhill development, that will also include the 250,000-sf One Snowhill office, a Westin Hotel, 336 apartment units and retail.
The 14-story Two Snowhill, overlooking Central Boulevard, will be completed in 2011. Wragge is moving from its existing offices at 55 Colmore Row. “This is a real coup, we’ve snared the best professional services firm in the local market,” says Richard Probert, with the project’s development company Ballymore.

Consultant firm KPMG has already pre-leased 120,000 sf of One Snowhill, which should be completed in about eight months. “We’re actively talking to other companies for the remaining floors of One and Two,” Probert tells He says he can’t reveal the agreed-to lease rates, but says the asking rate for the remaining space is UK$30 (US$59.4) per sf.

Probert says the market, the second largest in the country after London, has about 15 million sf of total office stock, with an average absorption rate of about 500,000 sf of class A space per year. “We’ve taken half of that in one fell swoop,” he says. The rest of national market is slow, he says. “We’re off the boil, everyone is very cautious reacting to the global doom and gloom. There’s been oversupply rumors,” Probert says. “But in Birmingham, investment values are better positioned, and the recent leases seem to be indicative of confidence.”
Hopefully this will encourage others to look at Birmingham as it is a reletively calm market in the turbulant global waters.
It would be no bad thing if the Birmingham Office market was seen as the safe ship in choppy waters, we would get the attention of the best developers (and talent) that way.
be intersting to see how well the existing offices are let
Where Wragge and co based now?
55 Colmore Row, 1 Victoria Square AND Bank House :)
It would be no bad thing if the Birmingham Office market was seen as the safe ship in choppy waters, we would get the attention of the best developers (and talent) that way.
Don't forget though that the 'credit crunch' has only just hit, whereas Wragge & Ballymore will have been in talks for some time, and they are not due to move in for another 3 years.

It will definitely bode well for the local market, but there are only 2 types of developers of big schemes: cash-rich and borrowers (not small people ;) )

The borrowers may be struggling now, unless they have a lot of collateral spread over different sectors, but it is the perfect time for the cash-rich to strike now.

There could be a bit of a delay before the crunch kicks in - some developers have already committed to schemes but may put the next one on hold, but there are also some developers who would prefer to hold now and see how things pan out. It is these ones who will get most confidence from the Wragge/Ballymore deal.

For Wragge it makes sense - consolidate now and agree a deal at £30 or £32 psf, knowing that in 2011 the top-end rent is likely to be higher :)
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