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New future for old Jewellery Quarter offices by 'bomb site' car park

Latest residential scheme will see office block vacant for 15 years converted into 14 high-end flats aimed at the upper end of the market

16-17 Lionel Street (blue doors) is set to be converted into upmarket apartments

A run-down vacant office block overlooking a major regeneration site in the Jewellery Quarter is set to be transformed into new high-end apartments.

The building, at 16-17 Lionel Street, has been vacant for 15 years and will be converted into 14 apartments, including eight duplexes, a ground floor retail unit and an underground car park with space for 13 cars, eight cycles and a motorbike.

It would involve a fifth floor extension, stripping back and re-cladding of the existing façades and demolition of a rear workshop fronting onto the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, to be replaced by a six-storey building. The largest flat will be around 1,960 sq ft.

The plot is opposite Ludgate Hill Car Park, affectionately known as the 'bomb site', which is being regenerated by Sterling Property Ventures, the same company behind the demolition and replacement of the NatWest Tower in Colmore Row.

Called Great Charles Place, the £100 million project will comprise 320 apartments, leisure and retail units, more than 200,000 sq ft of office space and 140 parking spaces.

Birmingham-based Ryland Estates has lodged the plans for 16-17 Lionel Street, also known as Mechind House, which have been designed by Acivico, the building control arm of Birmingham City Council.

Ryland Estates director Demetrios Markou told the Post: "All the apartments will be available for rent, rather than for sale, as the company plans to retain ownership of the development once it is finished.

"We can't say at this stage what rents will be as it will all depend on the market at the time but yes, we're aiming it at the higher end."

A design statement accompanying the newly submitted plans said the block was constructed in the late 1960s or early 70s, prior to which the site was occupied by small buildings.

The development will feed into the long-term Snow Hill Masterplan vision.

First outlined a year ago, the masterplan will create "Birmingham's Canary Wharf" in the area around Snow Hill station and Great Charles Street aimed at attracting companies in the financial and professional services sector.

This latest residential scheme is one of several currently under way in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter including the Metalworks in Warstone Lane, the St George's Village in Pope Street and a trio of separate projects in Legge Lane.



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