KPMG has finally rubber-stamped a landmark deal to relocate its Birmingham headquarters to the first office building at Ballymore Properties’ #500 million Snowhill scheme.
KPMG has selected Snowhill as the preferred location for its 1,000 Birmingham-based employees and has now singned an agreement for a 20-year lease and will take 120,000 sq ft of office space over floors seven to 11 at One Snowhill.
Construction is now under way on the first of two Sidell Gibson-designed office buildings following the recent appointment of main contractor, Kier Group. Completion is scheduled for late 2008 and KPMG is expected to begin the phased migration of its employees to the new office premises in 2009.
Mark Hopton, KPMG’s regional chairman in the Midlands, said: "Several factors were behind KPMG’s decision to relocate its Birmingham headquarters to Snowhill. Snowhill is a superb location – a gateway to the heart of the city on Colmore Row, adjacent to Snow Hill station.
"Quite apart from the dramatic architecture and excellent office accommodation, KPMG was also attracted to the design and content of the development as a whole. Ballymore’s plans to create a world-class business centre set within high quality public realm, and with retail and leisure amenities integrated into the scheme, will create the sort of working and lifestyle environment that complements KPMG’s brand.
"Furthermore, it was important that we worked with a developer like Ballymore who shares our aspiration to ensure that both the design of the buildings we will occupy, and the scheme as a whole, are as sustainable and energy efficient as possible."
This signing of the KPMG pre-let agreement establishes Snowhill as a vital city centre development comprising 600,000 sq ft of office accommodation in two distinctive buildings with floorplates of up to 25,000 sq ft. More than 300 residential apartments are also planned, along with a five-star hotel, restaurants, cafes and retail space in an mixed use urban context.
Richard Probert, Ballymore’s development manager for Snowhill, said: "The KPMG deal is the largest pre-let agreement outside London in four years and represents an early success for Snowhill in a highly competitive regional marketplace.
"KPMG has vested its long-term interests in the scheme, and this is a fitting milestone to begin an exciting and important year for Birmingham’s commercial property market."
Tim Wells, director of Ballymore Properties Limited, added: "The opportunities at Snowhill are the result of hard work and collaboration with Birmingham City Council, and others, and it is great to see the vision and effort rewarded."