The company that owns Bullring has completed the takeover of one of the largest regeneration sites in Birmingham city centre.
Hammerson has become the sole owner of the Martineau Galleries site around Dale End, which has lain dormant for years, after completing a takeover.
The London-based investment firm previously part-owned the site in a joint venture called Martineau Galleries Partnership alongside Land Securities and Phoenix Group Holdings, but now owns it outright.
The Post reported last may that Knight Frank had been appointed to oversee the sale and it is understood several major firms expressed an interest.
The site has planning permission for shops, offices and homes, but has seen no progress following the recession, and it is thought Hammerson will unveil new proposals.
A statement from Hammerson said: “This acquisition will enable Hammerson to consider a number of potential strategic development opportunities in the medium term and clearly demonstrates the company’s commitment to Birmingham as a city with some of the UK’s most exciting investment prospects.”
Martineau Galleries offers prospects for a regeneration scheme larger than the Bullring site.
The deal represents the largest sale in the city core since 1999 – an area the size of 36 football pitches.
The site comprises:
* ‘The Square’ (the 270,000 sq ft shopping centre formerly known as Priory Square).
* Dale and Century House.
* Two empty office blocks in Dale End.
* A 1,100-space NCP car park and another 720-space NCP car park.
* 1-7 Kings Parade (the row of shops with McDonalds and TSB Bank in Dale End).
* Londonderry House in Priory Queensway.
* The Bannatyne gym.
* Scruffy Murphys pub.
Outline planning consent was granted in December 2006 over a majority of the 6.5-acre site for a substantial mixed-use development of up to 2.86 million square feet although the recession scuppered work.
The scheme represents 915,000 sq ft of retail space, 270,000 sq ft of office space, a 320,000 sq ft hotel or 850 residential units, 215,000 sq ft of leisure space and 54,000 sq ft of cultural space.
When the plans were first mooted, it was thought the scheme would lead to 6,000 new jobs on top of 800 construction roles.
The estimated cost of the development was £550 million in 2006.
When contacted by the Post, a Hammerson spokesperson declined to give any further detail on the proposals.