Birmingham’s skyline is set for major change with more than one million square feet of new offices en route.
The city is embarking on an unprecedented building spree which will see a huge amount of construction completed by 2017.
The plan is part of Birmingham’s strategy to turn itself into a global financial services hub by 2030 , competing with other major European cities for investment.
Demand for office space has skyrocketed in the past 12 months, with Birmingham attracting some of the world’s biggest firms.
Last year saw the highest take-up levels of office space since before the recession, with £630 million of completed of deals in the city centre – a rise of 794 per cent.
Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore said: “This is an important part of our plan to turn Birmingham into a global city within 20 years.
“We’re investing on an unprecedented scale to entice businesses here, and the sheer scale of planned development is attracting financial firms from across the world.
“Birmingham is competing with international financial services hubs like Zurich and Frankfurt as it bids to bring even more global businesses to the city.”
Among the major schemes set to boost the city’s office market are the 400,000 sq ft Three Snowhill building and former NatWest Tower scheme.
New data shows demand is already strong for office space after total transactions rose from just £70.5 million in 2013.
Attracting roles out of London is key, with the capital suffering from under-supply, and Deutsche Bank’s expansion and HSBC’s announcement it is shifting its retail bank here, the principal feathers in the cap.
HSBC is forward purchasing the 210,000 sq ft 2 Arena Central site in central Birmingham – the city’s largest property deal since 2002, and work starts this summer with the bank planning to move in early 2018.
Meanwhile, the Snow Hill Masterplan set out plans to boost the office market by creating “Birmingham’s Canary Wharf” by 2030.
Neil Rami, chief executive of inward investment agency Marketing Birmingham, said: “Birmingham has worked incredibly hard to transform itself into a prime destination for financial and professional services firms. Those firms demand and need world-class office space, and the city is providing that on an unprecedented scale.
“We have affordable and smart Grade A office space here, in a city that will be at the heart of HS2 and has invested record amounts improving its transport infrastructure.
“The private sector here is rising faster than any other part of Britain, and that is also a big draw for financial firms.
“We are consistently creating more start-ups than any other regional city, and Birmingham is rapidly being transformed into a global hub for enterprise and innovation.”
Work is due to start on Three Snowhill soon, after planning permission was granted last week.
Martin Guest, managing director of the Birmingham office of CBRE, said: “Birmingham city centre has a significant number of major construction projects underway at the moment. While the end is in sight for major infrastructure projects such as the New Street station upgrade and the Metro extension, commercial development projects such as Paradise and Arena Central are now coming on stream and the city centre residential market has been reignited after seven tough recessionary years.”
New Birmingham office space
* 55 Colmore Row: 160,000 sq ft IM Properties
2017 AND AFTER
* 1 Arena Central: 210,000 sq ft Miller Development/Bridgehouse Capital
* Paradise building D: 160,000 sq ft Argent / Hermes / Birmingham City Council
* Paradise building E: 170,000 sq ft Argent / Hermes / Birmingham City Council
* 2 Cornwall Street: 110,000 sq ft Bruntwood
* Three Snowhill: 360,000 sq ft Ballymore