A contractor has been appointed to kick start work in earnest on the £500 million Paradise Circus regeneration project.
Carillion, the Wolverhampton-based support services giant which led the Library of Birmingham project, will start enabling works this autumn and commence phase one of infrastructure early next year.
Paradise Circus is a 17-acre, mixed-use scheme which will eventually comprise circa 1.8 million sq ft of offices, shops, leisure, cultural and civic amenities together with a new hotel, set within public space between Chamberlain Square and Centenary Square.
The project will be completed over three phases with the first comprising two buildings, public realm and highway work around the Paradise Circus Queensway island, with a target completion date of 2017/18.
Carillion's chief executive Richard Howson said: "Paradise Circus is a crucial project for the city and Carillion is very proud to have been selected to be part of it.
"We are looking forward immensely to starting work on the site, supporting infrastructure and working alongside such an experienced and successful team."
The project is being led by Paradise Circus General Partner, a joint venture between Birmingham City Council and Hermes Real Estate.
Argent is managing the design and delivery of the site works on behalf of the JV and is also development manager for Hermes Real Estate on the commercial buildings.
Property consultancies GVA and CBRE were recently named as the agencies tasked with sourcing occupiers for the first phase buildings.
Chris Taylor, chief executive of Hermes Real Estate, said: "The appointment of Carillion will add to the vast experience of our already top class project team.
"This is an important project for the regeneration of Birmingham and Paradise Circus will bring high-quality, office-led mixed-use space in a city where there is a looming shortage of sustainable grade A office space."
Rob Groves, senior project director for Argent, added: "The project is now moving forward very rapidly with activity planned to start on site later this year on the first phase of the major redevelopment of this key part of the city centre.
"The appointment of Carillion as contractor, following that of Grant Associates as Landscape Architects, Glenn Howells as architects of the first building and the imminent results of an architects' competition for the design of the second, is a further indicator of the positive evolution of this game-changing development for Birmingham."
The Birmingham Post has launched a free app for iPad and iPhone. Download it here.