Former British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace has been named the chair of the company driving regeneration in Eastside .
Ms Peace, who has been given a CBE for services to property, will head up the Curzon Urban Regeneration Company , overseeing the regeneration around Birmingham’s proposed HS2 station.
The company itself is still to be set up but will oversee delivery and manage the budget of the major scheme.
The masterplan unveiled in 2013 showed proposals for more than six million square feet of new employment floor space and 2,000 homes.
Speaking to the Post, Ms Peace, who is originally from Birmingham, said: “Building a station is one thing. You could just build a station and plonk it there.
“A bit like building a football stadium, you could put it there to be used for the purpose it was intended.
“But if you can grab that plan early enough in the process and think not just about building the station but the fact that you are building a gateway to something else then your station will look different.
“You will integrate what is going to be around it. So my principle objective is to make sure that we take advantage of the fact that there is going to be an HS2 windfall at Curzon Street and plan early enough to make sure we maximise the benefit of it.
“If it is just a station we will miss out on so much else.”
The Birmingham Curzon plans are vital to bringing investment into the city to deliver 14,000 jobs and a boost of up to £1.3 billion to the local economy.
Birmingham City Council’s director of regeneration and planning Waheed Nazir said it was a major coup to have Ms Peace on board to oversee that.
He said: “She was at the Ministry of Defence and then went to the British Property Federation and completely transformed it.
“It was fairly low-key before Liz got there but she transformed it into a powerful organisation.
“She has been in with every Prime Minister and just generally has a great black book.
“After stepping down from the BPF last year, she was still voted the most influential person in the industry the next year – a fairly unique achievement.”
He added: “I am sure I will be having some very serious conversations with Liz. We have chosen someone who will demonstrate strong leadership, with commercial nous about how to maximise development sites in the city.
“She will also bring a lot of passion to the role as someone from the city.”
* Read a wide-ranging interview with Ms Peace in this week’s Birmingham Post, out on March 12.