A new 17-storey apartment block, set to be built off Broad Street, has been branded "dull" by city planners but not before officers were praised for cutting its proposed height almost in half.
Permission was granted for the tower, originally meant to be 30 storeys, which will have more than 200 units and be constructed on the car park behind the Park Regis Hotel next to Five Ways island in Edgbaston.
But councillors were scathing of the design, which includes concrete made to look like Portland Stone, amid fears it may not age well.
Coun Gareth Moore (Con Erdington) called for the scheme to be improved.
He told the planning committee meeting: "I hope when it is built it looks better than it does in the drawings. I'm not particularly impressed with the design, it looks out of place."
But he said it did compare well with the neighbouring hotel and Cineworld buildings.
Coun Barry Henley (Lab Brandwood) added: "I congratulate the planning officers for reducing the height of this down from 30 storeys.
"A 17-storey dull building is better than a 30-storey dull building.
"It's not much of a building to look at but that's no reason to turn it down."
This is the second phase of the Park Regis development and is being carried out by Seven Capital.
It will be phased in height from six to 17 storeys and include six ground-floor commercial units.
The building will comprise 117 one-bedroom, 105 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom apartments - a move to encourage families which was welcomed by the planning committee.
A total of 115 replacement parking spaces for the hotel will be included in the new building with a further 37 vehicle and 228 cycle parking spaces for residents.
The 271-room Park Regis, including the Japanese restaurant Rofuto, opened last year following the renovation of the run-down Auchinleck House building.
The planning committee also gave the green light to the construction of a 140-apartment block in Digbeth.
Existing factory units on Green Street, Birchall Street and Bradford Street will be demolished to make way for the six-storey complex.
Coun Bob Beachamp (Con Erdington) said: "It's an area which has looked very shabby for a long, long time. This appears to be a good development."
Phil Carlin, managing director at Seven Capital, said: "We are delighted to have secured planning permission for this new development.
"Our delivery team has worked tirelessly with city planners and design officers to ensure we propose and deliver a scheme of the highest quality design and specification and we look forward to demonstrating this in more detail as we begin to progress our plans.
"The development forms the final piece of the jigsaw for our wider redevelopment of the Five Ways area and brings the total value of our regeneration activity there to circa £250 million.
"This includes a total of 919 apartments, a new four-star hotel and the revitalisation of the former Tesco unit into new office space which we have recently let.
"This stands as a significant investment and demonstrates our commitment to Birmingham and its continued development as a world-class city.
"We plan to be onsite as early as possible in 2018."