A giant US property company with form in Birmingham has emerged as a frontrunner in the race to acquire a stalled prime development in the city centre.

Hines, which has just bought a major chunk of Brindleyplace alongside Moorfiled and has been linked to the wholesale markets site, is believed to have been shortlisted for 2 Snowhill.

The 300,000 psf Ballymore scheme stalled two years ago at the height of the credit crunch with just the concrete core complete. The Irish developer is currently looking for an investor to take the project forward which enjoys a pre-let from top law firm Wragge & Co of around 60 per cent of the building although it can walk away unless the building is completed by Mrach 2013. It has a 20-year lease at 33psf

The US firm is understood to have made the shortlist alongide Frankfurt-based Union Investment Group. Savills has been seeking offers of around £135.1m, reflecting a yield of 6.5 per cent. The first completed phase of the scheme is currently let to KPMG nd Barclays and was recently acquired by a German fund for £125million.