Thinking outside the box

Estates Gazette and the Birmingham Post have reported that Birmingham Development Company (BDC) has acquired the 500,000 sq ft vacant former Post & Mail printiong works from newspaper group Trinity Mirror; Mailbox developer buys Birmingham's Trinity Mirror site, Birmingham Development Company acquires former Post & Mail building.

The building has been empty since October 2008 when Trinity Mirror relocated to 50,000 sq ft of offices at Urban Splash’s Fort Dunlop scheme. BDC acquired the site after Abstract Land were unable to secure funding for the 2-acre site after purchasing it for £12 million in 2007.

BDC director Alan Chatham said: “It is exciting to find a building of this scale in such a prominent central location and at a value that provides us the opportunity to do something really special with it. Our company does not do ‘ordinary’, each of our schemes are complex and unique, and as such we will never build The Cube or The Mailbox again, we are looking to do something different that will make the most of the location and create a new landmark for Birmingham.

The scheme will fit into the wider Big City Plan city strategy and will focus on connectivity and the lack of amenities in the traditional business core. The building will provide a bridge between existing commercial developments in the Colmore Business District and could provide a mix of retail, restaurant, leisure, hotel and office uses, together with car parking. The development will be delivered by BDC's own contractor BuildAbility, currently working on the Cube, the final phase of the Mailbox development.

BDC has already delivered the The Mailbox - the 1.5 m sq ft redevelopment of the former Royal Mail sorting office into the UK’s largest mixed-use building - and its latest £100m development project, The Cube, is set to complete in 2010.The site is of strategic importance within central Birmingham - situated at the head of the traditional business centre of Colmore Row. The 1960s, 9-storey building is located next to Carlyle Group’s Colmore Plaza. BDC will announce the design team next month and a planning application will be submitted before the end of the year.


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