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Business

Big moment for £700m Paradise development as first office block topped out

PwC have agreed deal for entire One Chamberlain Square building

The first office block on the £700 million Paradise development has been topped out - marking a major milestone for the project.

The eight-storey building, called One Chamberlain Square, will be home to accountancy firm PwC and is due to open in 2019.

It is two years since the demolition of the former Central Library and approaching three years since work started in earnest on the Paradise Circus site.

Designed by Eric Parry Architects, the eight-storey, 172,000 sq ft building overlooks Chamberlain Square and sits across from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Town Hall.

The building has been fully let to PwC which, as well as relocating its existing 1,400-strong Birmingham team from Cornwall Court in summer 2019, has the option to accommodate a further 1,000 staff as the business grows across the West Midlands.

Council leader Ian Ward said: "Paradise is another example of Birmingham delivering on its growth, skills and jobs agenda.

"This exceptional development perfectly reflects the confidence and ambition of the city as a leading business destination with an international reputation for quality and innovation.

L-R: West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, PwC regional chair Matt Hammond and Birmingham City Council Leader Ian Ward(Image: Paradise Birmingham)

 

"The scheme also reflects the very best of a successful public/private partnership, bringing to life the Big City Plan and delivering growth in the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone.

"The pace at which Paradise is moving forward and the quality of the architecture being brought to life at the very heart of this city is tremendously exciting."

He described it as one of the most important commercial developments in the UK outside London.

PwC regional chairman Matthew Hammond added: "Our team is excited and eager to experience PwC's new home in the heart of Birmingham, the Midlands and the country.

"With its high-quality space and central location in the city's newest and foremost commercial development, One Chamberlain Square represents a blueprint for our larger regional office model, with a tech-enabled, flexible environment that provides an exceptional visitor experience for our clients and a great working environment for our people."

One Chamberlain Square - an artist's impression of the old and the new at Paradise

 

The office building will include a ground-floor restaurant and shops as well as a large roof terrace.

Regional director for Paradise project manager Argent Rob Groves said: "This is a big moment for both Paradise and Birmingham.

"We have achieved so many milestones over the past ten years but this one feels the most significant and reflects the huge momentum built on this vastly significant scheme."

And West Midlands Mayor Andy Street thanked city centre visitors and workers for their patience during the construction period.

"Now, I hope, they can see the progress being made on creating a place which will effectively link all parts of the city together. It will be worth the wait," he said.

Elevated view of the curved No 1 Chamberlain Square building, seen from the steps of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery(Image: Graham Young)

 

"The news earlier this month that PwC has now taken the whole building and will eventually house up to 2,300 staff here is a huge vote of confidence, not just in the work of all of the partners involved in Paradise but also in the upbeat attitude of our commercial sector."

At 1.8 million square feet, Paradise will deliver up to ten new buildings, offering offices, shops, bars, cafés, restaurants and a four-star hotel across 17 acres.

Demolition of the former Birmingham Conservatoire and Fletchers Walk is now under way to allow for phase two of the scheme to progress.

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