Prominent Birmingham building acquired and set for new lease of life

Pictured at Priory House are, left to right, Charles Gillett and Richard Mees.

A prominent Birmingham building is set for a new lease of life after being bought in a major seven figure deal.

Rainier Developments Limited, based in Henley-in-Arden, has bought Priory House – a former forensic laboratory on the corner of Kent Street and Gooch Street North – and is planning to make it a key part of the regeneration of Birmingham’s Southside district.

The seven-storey building, which was constructed in the 1950s, was home to the Forensic Science Service for more than 40 years before it closed in 2011.

Now Rainier is planning to restore the building and create around 100 apartments for sale. The scheme will be the latest regeneration in the Southside of the city which is undergoing a massive makeover.

The area in and around the Hippodrome, Chinatown and the Gay Village is undergoing huge regeneration which will see it transformed into an attractive live-work-leisure destination.

Rainier Developments bought the 77,000 sq ft building from The Gooch Estate and is set to apply for planning shortly.

The plans will be showcased at MIPIM – the world’s biggest property development and investment show – in March.

Rainier Developments is a member of the Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership made up of companies and organisations who represent the area and is also part of the UK Midlands presence at the event which attracts 30,000 delegates.
Richard Mees, managing director of Rainier Developments, said the building was a landmark in a rapidly improving quarter of the city and would be a very positive component to the regeneration.

“Priory House is a landmark in the Southside district and we intend to not only fully restore while maintaining its 1950s character but also create some stunning apartments in what is a superbly located part of the city.

“There is a huge amount of regeneration across Southside which is making it a real destination for leisure and entertainment, but at the same time it is superbly located for apartment living being so close to the transport hub in the centre of the city.

“Now the purchase is complete we will be liaising with Birmingham City Council and also with other stakeholders and communities in Southside about how our development can bring a positive impact to the area.”

Rainier Developments is currently developing apartment schemes in Birmingham, Coventry and Crawley and is an independent land and development company.

Birmingham-based property consultancy Pennycuick Collins acted for The Gooch Estate in the transaction.

Charles Gillett, director at Pennycuick Collins, said: “Priory House, vacant since the Forensic Science Service was disbanded in 2012, is an ideal building for a conversion to provide something unique to Southside and Rainier Developments’ exciting plans will see it not only restored but also brought back to economic vibrancy complementing the other developments in the area and being an important addition to the regeneration of the neighbourhood.”