Work has started on a key Eastside regeneration scheme which is the first speculative office building to be built in Birmingham since before the recession.

Construction of a 55,000 sq ft four-storey office scheme has begun at Eastside Locks by property group Goodman.

As work has begun ahead of the Arena Central offices , it makes the development the first speculative scheme in the city since early 2007.

The scheme, at 1 Cardigan Street, also includes basement parking and landscaping and comes as work continues at a giant student housing development opposite, also at Eastside Locks.

The site has a long history, with significant investment of around £40 million having been made over recent years from public bodies, including the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

It occupies a key position as an entry point to Birmingham city centre for passengers travelling on HS2.

James Raven, development director for UK business parks at Goodman, said: “It’s a very exciting time for the city of Birmingham. With HS2 work scheduled to begin in 2017, the ongoing regeneration of New Street Station and the hugely increased connectivity of Eastside, the potential of Greater Birmingham and, in particular, Eastside is huge and something that we are proud to be at the heart of.”

The scheme includes basement parking for 29 cars and 26 bicycles and will offer grade A office accommodation.

Building work on the plot, which is part of the city centre enterprise zone, is due to complete in 2016.

The latest development is the first phase of up to 800,000 sq ft of offices set for Eastside, with HS2 expected to send demand soaring alongside the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.

Goodman said the office scheme, delivered in partnership with Birmingham City Council and the HCA, will host a “vibrant working environment” in the heart of Eastside.

Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, transport and the economy at Birmingham City Council, said: “Eastside Locks is a significant investment in Birmingham and the West Midlands economy, facilitating the growth of local organisations as well as attracting inward investment to the region.

It has first-class transport links with a major international airport, mainline railway station and the region’s motorway network, which are all easily accessible, making Birmingham city centre the ideal business hub.”