Construction firm Gleeson Building has been awarded a £18.5 million contract to construct an eight storey, mixed use development on a brownfield site in Bromsgrove Street, Birmingham.

It will provide affordable housing taking in 189 apartments over seven floors. The apartments will start at £158,000 and are aimed at first time buyers.

The complex will also include 12,000 sq ft of retail space on the ground floor, room for 11 shops.

Martin Smout, chairman and chief executive of Gleeson, said: "This building will help to solve the acute housing shortage by providing attractive, much needed accommodation for first time buyers in the heart of Birmingham, within walking distance of all amenities."

The project was awarded by Bromsgrove Street Ltd, owned by Taylor Wimpey, and is expected to be completed by May 2009.