Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter will have a new public square if planners give the green light to proposals submitted by developer Chord Deeley.
The square, which will be only the second in the historic Jewellery Quarter, will form the centrepiece of the developer’s £160 million St Georges scheme.
Plans have been submitted for phase one of the 2.75 acre/6.8acre site, which is bounded by Icknield Street, Camden Street and Carver Street. The site also incorporates Moreton Street and Pope Street, where the square will be located.
At 60m x 50m the new public space is equivalent to Brindleyplace’s Oozell’s Square and, as well as providing an area for visitors to relax, it is intended that it will be used as a venue for craft markets and outdoor performances. A planting programme will also introduce trees to the area.
The St Georges scheme will create a prominent new gateway at the run-down Icknield Street entrance to the industrial fringe of the Jewellery Quarter and is one of the biggest regeneration sites in the city. It will include a range of office, residential and retail/leisure space, including new hotels and a multi-storey car park.
Phase one will include the £55 million conversion of the Kettleworks, the former Swan kitchenware factory, into office and retail space. A new storey will be added to the existing four and a 1950s extension will be extensively refurbished to complement its Victorian parent.
The Kettleworks will provide 220,000 sq ft/20,438 sq m of excellent office accommodation, with single-floor plates of up to 50,000 sq ft.
An adjacent 1950s warehouse will be transformed into the multi-storey car park and will provide 323 spaces for cars, 38 motorcycle slots and 130 bicycle spaces for the Kettleworks.
Peter Deeley, at Chord Deeley, said: “The Jewellery Quarter boasts the city’s only Georgian Square, St Paul’s, but in reality there is very little open, public space in this area. Our aim is to create a new destination for the area’s visitors as well as a lively, vibrant place for St Georges’ 3,000-strong workforce.”
Chris Rosier, also of Chord Deeley, added: “We are heartened by the level of occupier interest which we have already received for our proposals.”
Chord Deeley aims to start work at St Georges late spring, with completion of phase one in 2010. Further development of the site, which will include additional office space, hotels and residential accommodation, will be phased over the next three-five years.
Chord Deeley is a joint venture between Coventry-based national developer Deeley Properties, and Jewellery Quarter-based developer Chord.
Urban Initiatives, the consultants behind Birmingham’s Big City Plan, are responsible for masterplanning St Georges. Scheme architects are Online Architects Limited; GBR and DTZ are marketing the office space; Wright Silverwood is marketing the retail and leisure accommodation.