The £50 million redevelopment of the Mailbox shopping centre in Birmingham is set to start after contractors were appointed.
A scheme to build a new roof, larger public areas and improvements to the surrounding infrastructure at the high-end shopping destination will begin following the appointment of Galliford Try.
The plans, designed by Stanton Williams, include a new, larger, Harvey Nichols store measuring 45,000 sq ft and a three-screen boutique cinema.
The work will also see the retail mall at The Mailbox enclosed and sky-lit, to create an urban room with new facades, finishes and store frontages. Improved way-finding throughout the mixed-use scheme will be introduced.
The Post exclusively revealed plans for the work last year, as owners seek to take advantage of increased footfall in the city centre with the New Street development, new John Lewis and £187 million Library of Birmingham.
Howard Penstone, development director at Milligan, joint-owner of The Mailbox, said work is taking place to attract top brands into the city.
He said: “Our plans have been well received in the marketplace and are designed to see The Mailbox reach its full potential. The refurbishment will transform the environment of the building whilst bringing a unique collection of brands to Birmingham.
“We’ll be working hard throughout the next 18 months to ensure that we stay open and luxurious, with a whole host of events and activities planned ahead of completion in 2015.”
Harvey Nichols, Emporio Armani, Nicky Clarke, Toni and Guy and BBC Birmingham will stay open throughout the refurbishment, along with the scheme’s bars, restaurants, hotels, commercial offices and car park.
Pre-let agreements have been signed with leading fashion brands Jaeger, Gieves & Hawkes, LK Bennett and Daniel Footwear.
Internationally-renowned Castle Fine Art will open a new gallery within the scheme.
The major change will be a new roof – and our exclusive image shows that for the first time.
The owners agreed a deal with Everyman late last year for a three-screen, 12,000 sq ft boutique cinema to open later this year.
It represents its first cinema in the Midlands, and will offer sofa seating, bar and lounge areas and “rustle-free” food.
Simon Samuels, partner at Brockton Capital, principal owner of The Mailbox, said Galliford Try has a proven track record in delivering complex construction projects in the retail sector.
He added: “We’re looking forward to working closely with the team to deliver this exciting new, luxury retail experience for Birmingham and the Midlands.”
Sean Bowles, Galliford Try Central managing director, said: “It’s great news that we have been selected for such a prestigious project in one of Birmingham’s landmark buildings.
“We look forward to working with our partners at Brockton Capital and Milligan to bring our expertise to bear and create facilities at The Mailbox that befit a luxury shopping experience and reflect the high quality of the brands that will be based there.”
The Mailbox expects 500 additional jobs to be created when the development is completed in 2015.
The redevelopment is the first major move by Brockton and Milligan since taking over the Mailbox for £127.1million from Birmingham Development Company.
Nash Bond and Shelley Sandzer are acting on behalf of The Mailbox.