Two training companies have taken almost 30,000 sq ft on Smallbrook Queensway in Birmingham city centre.
Cambridge and Western Training has taken 12,500 sq ft on floors one and two of SBQ2, on a five year lease, at a rent of £9 per sq ft - the first office the Australia-based company has opened in the UK.
The London School of Business and Finance has taken 14,750 sq ft on the fourth floor of SBQ1 and SBQ2, on a five-year lease at a rent of £7.50 per sq ft.
CB Richard Ellis acted on behalf of the landlord, Commercial Estates Group.
Theo Holmes, a surveyor in the office agency team at CBRE in Birmingham, said the lettings demonstrate the growing demand for office space from the training sector.
He said: “The training sector is one area where we are currently seeing a lot of activity, such is the market at the moment and the demand for training courses and services. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of available space in the city centre that can accommodate training companies due to the required D1 planning use. We spotted this gap in the market and working with the landlord and city council we have sought to extend the existing B1 uses clause of SBQ1 and 2 to include D1 uses.”
Mr Holmes said there were very few buildings in Birmingham that have converted the use from B1 to D1 across all the accommodation but believes there could be an opportunity for other landlords to follow suit.
He said: “The change of use of SBQ1 and 2 is so far proving to be a successful move. As a B1 office building it struggled to attract tenants, due to the market and its location. However, for training companies, the location near to New Street train station is ideal as it means people traveling from across the country to the building to take part in training courses have easy access.
“What’s more, we have managed to transform what was previously an empty building into what could now be a thriving hub for training companies. We have interest in a further 20,000 sq ft in buildings 1 and 2, which would leave less than 10,000 sq ft of available space. And with only around 6,000 sq ft of office accommodation remaining in SBQ3, all three buildings could soon be fully let.”
CBRE has currently let 90,000 sq ft - including the Office for Legal Complaints’ 40,000 sq ft letting at Baskerville House - in the first quarter of 2010.