Land deals worth more than #40million are set to transform two important Birmingham city centre sites. Birmingham City Council confirmed last night that it was in the process of selling two acres off Great Charles Street for a mixed-use residential-led development.
In a separate move, the vacant NatWest Tower on the corner of Colmore Row and Newhall Street is set to be redeveloped.
The tower, often described as one of the ugliest modern buildings in Birmingham, is likely to be demolished and replaced by a 200,000 sq ft landmark high-rise office block.
Developers Abstract Land and Dandara have been appointed by the council to develop the Great Charles Street site, which has been derelict for years and was once earmarked for the city's new coach station.
A deal to sell the land to HBG Properties for about #23million collapsed in August, forcing the council to talk to other shortlisted companies.
Ken Hardeman, council cabinet member for regeneration, said Abstract Land and Dandara had agreed to pay a sum "very close" to HBG's original offer.
The speed with which the deal was concluded demonstrated the vibrancy of the property market in central Birmingham, Coun Hardeman added.
"We were obviously disappointed that HBG did not deliver what they offered. But we knew it wouldn’t be a major problem because we had other interested parties waiting in the wings," he said.
The two developers are proposing a mixed-use scheme including flats, car parking, a hotel and a public square.
The deal also involves "imaginative" ways to improve pedestrian access between the city centre and the Jewellery Quarter by replacing the existing footbridge across Great Charles Street.
Coun Hardeman said: "We asked all the bidders to indicate how they would deliver the improved pedestrian link and Abstract Land/Dandara have put forward some very interesting ideas."
British Land is understood to be buying the NatWest Tower site from Omega Land for about #21million.
Coun Hardeman said he expected proposals to come for a new tower of "iconic" design.
"This is a very sensitive site and I think it is fair to say we would be looking for exceptional design features," he added.