£2.5million refurb complete at The Southside Building

The Southside Building, Birmingham. Picture by Simon Hadley.

The £2.5 million renovation of an 11-storey office block which will set the standard for flexible and vibrant workspaces in Birmingham’s Southside has been completed.

Paloma Capital instructed the Cat-A fit out and refurbishment of 25,000 sq ft of commercial office space at The Southside Building, in Hurst Street.

The programme of works has seen improvements made to common areas and vacant office suites which have been comprehensively stripped out and refurbished, to create stylish contemporary spaces which pay tribute to the diversity of the area. Individual space is available from 200 sq ft to 6,500 sq ft

The first floor has been reconfigured, providing several new features including an occupier’s kitchen, break out space, touch down working areas and a boardroom complete with video conferencing facilities. Specially designed Zoom booths, an outdoor terrace and event space have also been included in the new layouts.

The exterior of the building, which is located next door to Birmingham Hippodrome, has been partially reclad, and retail units have received modern new frontages. A ground floor coffee shop provides an internal link to an enhanced and reconfigured design-led reception, whilst tenants will benefit from new bicycle storage with shower and changing facilities.

The designs of the building have been inspired by the local area, and Paloma Capital has worked closely with several local artists to create a unique and eye-catching environment.

This includes collaborating with local graffiti artists to create one of the largest murals in the city, a special photography commission of the Southside district acting as a prominent part of the interior design, and a partnership with an independent graphic designer to create statement pieces for the reception and common areas which celebrate Birmingham and its diversity.

Jeremy Thiagarajah, Director – Investment and Asset Management, Paloma Capital, said: “The Southside Building benefits from being the only office building of its kind within the Chinese Quarter and Gay Village, an area which is heralded as one of the most culturally diverse areas of Birmingham. With this in mind we felt it was vital that we created workspace which both sets the standard for offices in Southside while paying tribute to the community which works and lives in this part of the city.

“Collaboration has been a huge part of the designs, and as people start to go back to their working environments as restrictions related to Covid-19 ease it has never been more important. Many of our new facilities have been designed to cater for those adopting networking practices and models so they can be as flexible and adaptable as they need to be.

“As well as being high-quality and forward looking in terms of amenities and facilities, the building’s position within the city couldn’t be better. It will soon front Hippodrome Square which will offer the city’s latest public square, outdoor performance and festival space and is located in a neighbourhood which itself is seeing a renaissance and exciting redevelopment. One of the UK’s most important train stations at Birmingham New Street is just a short walk away as well, making it easily accessible.

“We already have a diverse range of occupiers both in terms of cultural backgrounds and working sectors and industries including fintech, professional services and healthcare. This refurbishment has helped us deliver space with a unique personality which is aligned to the businesses which already call The Southside Building home, while offering a high-quality option for businesses looking to set up shop in the city going forward.”

Alex Tross, Head of Office Agency at Lambert Smith Hampton, said: “The newly refurbished space at The Southside Building is extremely innovative, modern and fills a specific need for businesses looking for an environment which will inspire creativity and new ways of working.

“The quality and character of the space is hugely impressive and really sets the standard for space in the Southside district, and we’re looking forward to welcoming businesses to The Southside Building in the near future.”

Willmott Dixon Interiors worked alongside consultants from Whitman Wilde, Quantum Consulting and Malcolm Hollis on the project. Formerly known as Albany House, the 51,000 sq ft Southside Building was acquired by private equity real estate investor Paloma Capital in 2017.

Phil Crowther, director, Willmott Dixon Interiors said: “We are very pleased to have completed the Cat-A fit out and refurbishment of the Southside Building. It’s always pleasing to deliver a successful project of this scale but especially so given the challenges presented by maintaining social distancing measures in a fully occupied building.

“The building provides a tremendous opportunity for occupiers seeking smaller or co-working space in an excellent business location, within easy reach of Birmingham’s city core. It’s one of the first offices of its kind to be refurbished in the area and it’s done so at a really exciting time.

“With £1.5 billion worth of development due to take place nearby at Smithfield Masterplan and the development of the HS2 Curzon Street Station, there is certain to be a significant increase in the amount of people wishing to live and work in Birmingham city centre.”

Paloma Capital is a private equity real estate investor established in 2015 and wholly owned by its founding partners, Joe Froud and Jack Pitman.