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Review of 2015 - October: New Apple store, Mailbox re-opens and city's most expensive flat

Tech giant Apple was strongly rumoured to be planning a move into Waterstones' shop in New Street, a new-look Mailbox finally opened in October and Birmingham's most expensive flat sold for £1.8m

In October came the news that Waterstones in New Street would be transformed into an Apple store(Image: Graham Young)

Apple eyes New Street Waterstones store

Technology giant Apple was touted as the new occupier of the Waterstones store in New Street in October, meaning it will be housed in one of Birmingham's most historic and prominent stores.

A deal was imminent for the takeover of the huge six-storey store which was originally one of the first Midland Bank branches in the country.

It continued the renaissance of the most prominent part of the city centre, coming just days after the opening of the Grand Central shopping centre and before testing began on the new Metro line.

One Corporation Street retailer nearby told the Post he had already committed to a major expansion on the back of the impending arrival of Apple.

Mailbox delivers on luxury as it re-opens

The largest mixed-use building in Britain besides The Shard in London was back in October.

The Mailbox underwent a £50 million refurbishment and renovation and was finally unveiled this month, showcasing a new-look Harvey Nichols, glass roof and revamped mall and walkways.

Such is the scale of The Mailbox, that shoppers standing at its grand entrance are closer to the new John Lewis than the rear of the building.

City's most expensive flat sold for £1.8m

The most expensive city centre apartment ever was sold in Birmingham.

A penthouse flat in the former Debenhams warehouse in Holloway Head, better known as Concord House, was bought for £1.8 million - believed to be only the second time an apartment has topped the £1 million mark.

It was another strong sign that the upper end of Birmingham's property market is booming.

It signalled quite a transformation for the 1930s building whose redevelopment last year was touted as a contender for the infamous architecture prize the Carbuncle Cup by a city councillor who labelled it "utterly dreadful".

Library to undergo £2m conversion

The Library of Birmingham is to undergo £2.1 million conversion just two years after it opened to pave the way for a language school to move in, it was announced in October.

The relocation of the Brasshouse Language Centre from Sheepcote Street, which was announced earlier this year, will see the £188 million library open to the public for longer following a dramatic cut in its hours, from 73 down to 40.

But it means the first floor conference rooms and study areas will be converted into 24 classrooms for the language school.

The Alchemist and Italian restaurant Gusto set to open at The Grand Hotel

An exclusive bar and a popular restaurant are set to open at The Grand Hotel when work completes next year, it emerged this month.

The Alchemist plans to open its first venue in Birmingham at the landmark Colmore Row development where it will be joined by Italian restaurant Gusto, which has 12 locations in the North and Scotland.

The pair will account for three of the ten retail units created at The Grand, one of the city's most cherished listed buildings which was constructed in 1875.

New Doha flights as Qatar Airways signs up with Birmingham Airport

New flights from Birmingham to Doha were announced after Qatar Airways became the latest airline signed up by the city's airport.

Eight flights a week will travel to Hamad International Airport, in the Qatari capital, from next March, with Birmingham becoming just the fourth UK airport to offer them.

The tie-up, the first time Qatar has flown from Birmingham, means travellers will be a single flight away from the football World Cup in 2022.

The flights mean more than 100,000 people a year will be able to head from the city to Doha, which has one of the world's strongest economies.

Images show Primark's plans for Pavilions

New images showing how the revamped Pavilions shopping centre and Primark store will look were revealed.

The graphics gave a glimpse of Primark's plans to carry out a wholesale regeneration of the beleaguered shopping centre in High Street following its landmark acquisition last year, rumoured to have cost £60 million.

The 263,600 sq ft centre, completed in 1988, is mostly vacant and has suffered in recent years since the opening of Bullring in 2003 but is now set for a bright new future following Primark's buyout.

The budget clothing retailer, part of the Associated British Foods conglomerate, lodged new plans to remodel the existing structure of the centre to create a new four-storey shop covering around 150,000 sq ft.

Tributes paid after Post columnist and historian Chris Upton dies

Tributes were in October paid to a prominent Birmingham historian and university lecturer who died following a battle with cancer.

Students past and present expressed their sadness following the death of Dr Chris Upton, whose impressive career included working as a historical consultant on hit TV programme Peaky Blinders.

The 61-year-old, a columnist for the Birmingham Post, was a reader in public history at Newman University - specialising in the history of the West Midlands.

Review of Year 2015 - January

Review of Year 2015 - February

Review of Year 2015 - March

Review of Year 2015 - April

Review of Year 2015 - May

Review of Year 2015 - June

Review of Year 2015 - July

Review of Year 2015 - August

Review of Year 2015 - September

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