Snow Hill January 2013 update

This month sees the completion of developers Hines and Ballymore's office block Two Snow Hill.  The 14 storey block will provide 300,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation together with retail and leisure space,  Only 120,000 sq ft of space remains following law firm Wragge & Co taking 60% of the block in advance in 2008 on a 20 year deal.  The block will be the only new office building to be delivered to the market until 2015.

The Lawyer reported on 7 April that Wragges was looking to consolidate its three Birmingham offices in a single larger site and was in advanced stages of negotiation.
The firm looked at Carlyle Group's Colmore Plaza, Baskerville House in Centenary Square and even expanding into buildings adjacent to its Colmore Row site, according to Metcalfe. However, it decided on Two Snowhill, because it allows flexibility to rent out as well as strong environmental credentials.

The block sits adjacent to One Snow Hill, occupied by KPMG and Barclays, and is linked with a new winter garden.  There is also a green theme with a green wall hiding Snow Hill station and improving the public realm.

As part of the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ scheme, Hines and Ballymore, on behalf of Hines European Development Fund II, have also committed to improving the wider public realm and environment around the building with the installation of a ‘green wall’ between the scheme and Snowhill Station.

The 220m long and up to seven-metre high wall will incorporate 604 sq m of planting, interspersed with decorative steel panels, and will be the largest of its kind in Europe.

The block, the second of a planned three phase £450 million scheme, initially stalled following the credit crunch and funding problems with the withdrawal of Anglo Irish Bank,  
In June 2009 the developers asked Wragge & Co to postpone their move into the block as they sought to gain more tenants due to the funding problems,  In April 2011 American firm Hines, investors in Brindleyplace, were named as investors in the project and it recommenced construction to ensure the new building would retain the Wragge & Co pre let.

The third phase would have seen twin towers, sharing a podium, with 336 apartments and a new hotel in towers designed by Glenn Howells.  This has since been scrapped, with residential development and speculative funding not forthcoming, so that the cores rising from the podium that was due to see a tower rise will be used as a temporary green space until development of new office space.  The new proposal will see a new office block built on the site of the former towers but only once a pre-let is secured, most likely in the next 18 months,

An image of what the former third phase designed by Glenn Howells was proposed to look like.

Indicative images of what the new third phase office building, showing the scale, of any new development could look like, reproduced from planning application 2012/07761/PA

Here are a few pictures from 2008 and 2009 and 2011 showing work to construct the new block.




Two Snow Hill office block and surrounding works nearing completion 13 January 2013.


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