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Investor wanted to run Birmingham City Centre's new £1 billion Smithfield development

City Council to appoint firm to bring in new homes, shops, markets and leisure facilities under 15 year regeneration project

The search is on to find a development partner to oversee the £1 billion transformation of Birmingham’s soon-to-be empty wholesale markets site.

City Council bosses will tomorrow launch the bidding process which will find a developer or investor to deliver on its Birmingham Smithfield Masterplan and create a new vibrant business and residential hub.

The 34-acre plot, near to the Bullring, has been earmarked for new independent shops and markets, leisure facilities, restaurants, hotels, a public square and events space and 2,000 new homes.

Estimates suggest is will also create 3,000 new jobs, add £470 million value to the city economy, attract millions more visitors to the city and comes with a development value of more than £1 billion.

A CGI of plans for the markets as part of the Birmingham Smithfield regeneration scheme

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The council hopes to announce the successful company to deliver that vision by the end of this year. Meanwhile the wholesale markets are in the process of relocation to a new venue at the Hub industrial estate in Witton.

A report ahead of Tuesday’s council cabinet meeting said: “Due to the scale of the redevelopment, the council will need to partner with an investor/developer to bring appropriate finances and expertise to deliver the redevelopment.

“Key to the success of the redevelopment will be the creation of a new destination with high-quality urban design and critical mass to provide a high-quality environment with the ability to attract people/ visitors, occupiers, investors and funders.

A CGI of plans for Birmingham Smithfield, on the giant Wholesale Markets site in Birmingham

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“As a new and as yet unproven destination, getting the connectivity and public realm right will be key to changing current market perceptions.

“To achieve this, the council needs a delivery partner with the right experience, ambition and financial capacity to work in partnership with the city to realise the bold and ambitious plans for the site.”

Earlier this year the council appointed expert consultants Cushman And Wakefield to advise on the next steps and oversee the search for this development partner.

The development contract will run for 15 years from 2019.

Designated an enterprise zone in 2012, the regeneration of the site will act as a catalyst for the transformation of Birmingham’s wider Southern Gateway area. There is a commitment to produce environmentally friendly zero-emission designed buildings on the site.

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