A new café and cycle hub are set to open in the city's tallest office building as its new owner eyes the long-term benefits of the Arena Central development.
Anglo Scandinavian Estates, which snapped up the 28-storey Alpha Tower last year for just £14 million, has applied for permission to remove the two existing ground floor retail units and create a space for a new coffee shop.
Anglo is also planning to refurbish the reception area, remove revolving doors and create a basement cycle hub with room for around 100 bikes, showers and changing facilities.
The front retail unit, which faces onto Suffolk Street Queensway, is currently occupied by WHSmith while the rear unit is empty.
No occupier for the coffee shop is specified in the planning documents but whichever company takes the space will benefit from greatly increased footfall once the first building opens at the neighbouring, mixed-use Arena Central development.
A design statement prepared for the application by property consultancy GVA said: "The ground floor works consist of the refurbishment of the reception area and the stripping out of the retail units in order to create a coffee shop, which will be directly accessible from reception.
"The basement currently consists of largely unused partitioned storage rooms, along with building staff office and welfare areas.
"The majority of the partitioned rooms are to be stripped out and replaced with shower and changing and locker facilities, along with bike storage areas. It is believed that the existing reception does not do justice to the building.
"The space is relatively small for a building of the size of Alpha Tower and the position and size of the reception desk only adds to the sensation that the size is inadequate."
There are currently two entrances to the building which will be altered to create just one main through fare.
"The concept behind the scheme is to provide a contemporary, large and bright entrance to the building," GVA added.
Originally developed for ATV, the 196,000 sq ft tower was completed in 1973 and acquired in 2008 for £42.5 million by Catalyst Capital from Arena Central Developments.
After completing the deal last February, Anglo vowed to invest £9 million into a major refurbishment programme.
In August, Alpha Tower was handed Grade II listed status, with English Heritage describing it as "one of the most aesthetically successful office buildings in Birmingham".