Property agents Knight Frank have clinched a multi-million pound deal of their own - one that will see them move a short distance to One Colmore Row in the heart of Birmingham's traditional business district.

The deal, which will see KF settled into 8,000 sq ft on the ground and first floors of the building this autumn, confirms Colmore Row and the surrounding business district as the number one place for many professional firms in Birmingham.

Knight Frank isn't revealing the price agreed with developer Richardson Barberry, which starts this summer on a multi-million pound refurbishment programme of the building, currently occupied by Ernst & Young, but the going rate for prime office space in Birmingham's square mile is anything up to #217.50 per sq ft.

KF will have its own dedicated entrance on Colmore Row, and the approach to the building will be transformed with the removal of the canopy leading to Snow Hill station.

The move is eagerly anticipated by Mark Swallow, head of Knight Frank Birmingham, who says: "This is a fantastic milestone in our history. During the last five years we have grown in size and success and have taken advantage of a break in our existing lease to do something about it.

"The new office will provide a more efficient working layout for our residential and commercial teams. The move is part of our strategy to become the largest Knight Frank office outside London and we are well on our way to achieving that goal."

The deal will leave 36,000 sq ft of grade A space still on the market, with KF and DTZ - based in an office tower across the road from its rival - having been appointed joint letting agents.

Carl Richardson. of developer Richardson Barberry, believes that the refurbished building will provide much-needed grade A space within the city core.

"It is great news to have a new tenant for this prestigious building," he tells Business Property Review. "Having  passed the test with Knight Frank, One Colmore Row is on course to attract high-profile tenants looking for quality office space within a central location."

Competing for footloose tenants is what developer CGIS describes as the largest single, new grade A, office floorplate within Birmingham's central core - City Plaza on Temple Row.

Work on the creation of 14,000 sq ft of space at the mixed-use development is finished and offices are ready for tenants as soon as they sign on the dotted line.

Located on the first floor of City Plaza, the new office space is part of a 58,000 sq ft office tower, whose feature curved glazing looks out over the city's St Philips cathedral and Colmore Row.

Joint letting agents are Lambert Smith Hampton and Jones Lang Lasalle and Ian Martin, associate director at Jones Lang Lasalle, says the immediate availability of such a large floorplate in a prime location means that there is much interest.

"The prospect of securing a newly-constructed office with this size of floorplate in Birmingham is relatively unique," says Mr Martin.

"There is a great deal of interest for property overlooking St Philips and we won't be waiting long before it is let."

Philippa Pickavance, regional director of office agency for Lambert Smith Hampton, says: "City Plaza has, until now, had a low profile, but the new entrance on to Temple Row, and the marketing campaign for the new space, has helped to boost its awareness."

Looking at the wider picture is Geoff Thomas, regional chairman at DTZ's Birmingham office, who believes the Second City offers relatively good value for money compared to UK rivals.

"In euro terms, Birmingham is some eight per cent cheaper than last year, while in dollar terms it is ten per cent more expensive," he says, quoting the DTZ survey's #6,442 a year figure for total office workstation cost in the Second City.

"While London remains one of the most expensive locations in the world, its global stature is the real driver forlocational decisions. In a sense the fact that in relative terms it is expensive is a market manifestation of the desirability of the location.

"Birmingham has a real opportunity to take advantage of this differential within the UK market as companies are under every increasing pressure to reduce operational costs."