Busting a Boom? A look towards 2013 in Birmingham

As 2012 ends Birmingham moves forward to the new year with a number of construction projects underway, some nearing completion and others in the pipeline.  Here's an abridged discussion of the ongoing projects with so many projects to look at.

New Street Station will see the first half of the new concourse open in 2013 which will give the first tantalising glimpse into the radical transformation the station and it's connectivity will have on visitors and residents alike. Steelwork is being installed on Stephenson Street for the dramatic exterior while on Hill Street the steelwork for the new John Lewis store is rising.  The void fronting the station adjacent to TK Maxx is being filled in and work continues on the new path to the rear of the Odeon cinema.

The Library of Birmingham will open on 3 September 2013 with work continuing mostly away from the public gaze inside the building ready for the April handover to the City Council from contractor Carillion.  Much like New Street Station this will provide another building that will transform the city and provide a cultural hub connecting with the REP and sitting alongside the ICC and Symphony Hall.

The development paves the way for the demolition of Madin's 1970s library and the redevelopment of Paradise Circus with outline planning approval gained on 20 December a detailed planning application for the first phase of the development should be made in late 2013 / early 2014, http://www.midlandsbusinessnews.co.uk/2012/07/plans-submitted-for-paradise-circus-development/

In Edgbaston, The Hospital plaza and interchange, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Plaza and Transport Interchange,  at the University of Birmingham adjacent to the University train station and new hospital has been completed providing an improved appearance and access to visitors to the hospital.  The new plaza also reinstates the site of Metchley Roman fort providing an important historical reminder of Roman Birmingham.

Down the road from the hospital in Selly Oak (Bournbrook), on the new Selly Oak New Road a new student block being constructed adjacent to the new canal viaduct is rising rapidly while plans for the nearby redevelopment of the Battery Site, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Plaza and Transport Interchange, have been changed irking supporters of a canal proposal in the previous plans.  Plans have been revised due to technical considerations as the new plans see the City Council seek to develop it's economic zones.

The life sciences campus, which would cover about a third of the site at 430,000 sq ft, would be located near the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the University of Birmingham’s Medical School.The site could include laboratories and offices for research in pharmaceuticals, medical biotechnology and medical technology.
This part of the development will be led by Birmingham City Council and would be one of the city’s six new Economic Zones.

Snow Hill in the City Centre will see office block Two Snow Hill finish construction in January 2013 with the 75m office block already seeing 250,000 sq ft pre let to Wragge & Co.  The development compliments One Snow Hill adjacent to it and will front onto the metro extension as it winds between Snow Hill Station and the development onto Bull Street.

Education unsurprisingly, considering the young population of the city, continues to be a key area of development around the city with Birmingham City University developing it's Eastside Campus, the University of Birmingham proposing a new sports centre and library alongside campus development proposals, and the designation of University status on University College Birmingham, formerly the College of Food and Newman University College, http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/university-college-birmingham-and-newman-college-339351.  Aston University's own campus development including new student accommodation continues with new halls of residence due to be open for the 2013-14 academic year, http://www1.aston.ac.uk/about/campus-redevelopment/aston-student-village/.

Birmingham City University (BCU) saw it's initial plans for a campus in Eastside, Eight down for city campus, change following the government announcement on High Speed 2 which would see a terminus on the site of the campus.  BCU instead developed £60m campus expansion with a new building by Associated Architects planned to house the university's Institute of Art and Design which would sit adjacent to the Millennium Point home of BCU's Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment and part of the Faculty of Performance, Media and English.
The building is due for completion in time for the 2013-14 academic year.

Hotels are a continuing source of employment through construction and redevelopments of buildings into hotels with the proposed Resorts World at the NEC, including a new hotel amongst plans for a casino, cinema, bars and retails.  The former office block Auchinleck House is set to see redevelopment into a hotel while work will convert Exchange House on New Street and the former offices above New Street Station into new hotels.  The former Grand Hotel on Colmore Row is also undergoing work to preserve the building in anticipation of an hotel operator committing to run the hotel.

Aside from the developments described above there is the imminent refurbishment of the NIA, the development of the new Dental Hospital on the Pebble Mill site, the current construction of Birmingham Airport runway extension, Metro extension to New Street Station and the development of Longbridge Town Centre.

Even with a brief discussion of current and proposed projects it is clear there is a lot happening in Birmingham and a lot for Birmingham to continue or begin in 2013.


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