Work has restarted at a stalled £400 million Birmingham city centre scheme designed to echo the urban styles of New York’s High Line and the Promenade Plantee in Paris.
The demolition of a multi-storey car park at the corner of Holliday Street and Bridge Street is the first step towards the construction of a 210-bedroom Holiday Inn Express, which will form part of the 2.3 million sq ft Arena Central mixed use development.
Once completed the 14-storey hotel, which will include an atrium link to the adjacent Crowne Plaza Hotel, will back onto Arena Square, a key part of the office-led development.
Outline planning consent is already in place for 800,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation, hotels and residential units of more than 200,000 sq ft, up to 1.2 million sq ft of retail/leisure units and car parking.
Arena Central is a joint venture between Miller Developments, who acquired the former Carlton Television studios in 2001, and Andy Ruhan’s Bridgehouse Capital, originally announced in March 2004.
A revised masterplan was submitted in 2011 which doubled the amount of commercial space across the 9.2 acre site and aims to create a number of ‘oven-ready’ development plots.
Plans for public realm in the scheme include a landscaped walkway taking inspiration from elevated footpaths in NYC, Paris and London’s Olympic Park.
Construction on the new hotel is expected to start in the second quarter of 2014 and be completed in early 2015.
The demolition work is being undertaken by specialist contractor DSM, based in Heartlands, Birmingham.
Jonathan Wallis, development director at Miller Developments, said: “Arena Central forms an integral part of Birmingham City Council’s Big City Plan as well as having a prime position within the City Centre Enterprise Zone.
“Alongside the development of the hotel, we are working closely with Birmingham City Council to deliver the site’s next commercial building of around 110,000 sq ft, which is planned to sit in a prominent position fronting Broad Street.
“This site is one of the most strategically important locations in the city and our proximity to the Library of Birmingham, the established city core, Brindleyplace and The Mailbox will undoubtedly help to create a fully connected, 21st century location.”
Arena Central has also been shortlisted as one of 18 national projects for the Government’s £59 million Local Infrastructure Fund, administered by the Homes and Communities Agency.
Supported by the Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, the aim is for the grant to fund the demolition of the remainder of the site and the construction of a new pedestrian link between Broad Street and Holliday Street.