Planning secured for first phase of transformational Paradise scheme

Planning consent has been secured for the first three planning applications at Birmingham’s transformational Paradise scheme – a landmark stage in the delivery of one the UK’s most important city centre developments. The planning approval brings over 350,000 sq ft of speculative office development to the market.

Birmingham councillors have given their seal of approval for proposals submitted by Paradise development manager Argent, on behalf of Hermes Investment Management. The plans are for two new world-class office buildings, One and Two Chamberlain Square, along with the major enhancement of public space in Chamberlain Square – which together represent the first phase of the £500 million Paradise project.

With the external demolition of existing buildings including the old Central Library and the Paradise Forum shopping centre set to start within weeks, construction on One Chamberlain Square will begin in Spring 2016. This will be followed by Two Chamberlain Square in Autumn 2016, with the refurbishment of Chamberlain Square also being implemented during this period. Practical completion of this first phase is scheduled for the end of 2018.

Senior projects director of Argent, Rob Groves, said: “Now we have the City’s permission, we will move forward on delivering these two exceptional office buildings and public space enhancements and bring our plans to create this prestigious business address at the civic heart of Birmingham into reality. As well as the two new office buildings, the attractive wide streets and squares will enhance the remarkable historic setting, which has one of the UK’s finest collections of Victorian civic buildings.”

Chris Taylor, Chief Executive of Hermes Real Estate, commented: “Our investment in Paradise, as one of the biggest development schemes Birmingham has seen in a generation, reflects our confidence in Birmingham as a leading business destination. This approval will now enable us to deliver the world-class office accommodation the city needs to cement its position with high profile occupiers on the global stage. This new office space is being supported by the comprehensive placemaking and public realm work we are delivering in partnership with Birmingham City Council to ensure Paradise contributes to the socio-economic well-being of everyone living and working in Birmingham.”

Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore added: “As the city sees an unprecedented amount of construction projects and celebrates a series of major transformational events, including the opening of the multi-million pound New Street Station and Grand Central, in a month we have labelled ‘Super September’, Paradise further consolidates Birmingham’s position as a city that is on the up, attracting investment from some of the world’s biggest firms, creating jobs and enjoying more growth and prosperity.”

Designed by Eric Parry Architects, One Chamberlain Square will be an elegant, curved, seven-storey building bounded by Centenary Way, Congreve Street and Chamberlain Square.  172,000 sq ft of office space, including a large roof terrace at the sixth floor level, will be delivered along with restaurant and retail uses on the ground floor.

The adjacent, seven-storey Two Chamberlain Square has designed by Glenn Howells Architects which oversaw the masterplanning for the full Paradise development. The building will complement the historic setting, with a five-storey portico fronting onto Chamberlain Square and stepping back at the sixth floor with a roof terrace.  Ground and upper ground levels will again offer space for restaurant and retail uses.

Grant Associates Landscape Architects is overseeing a dramatic refurbishment of Chamberlain Square, which include includes a new, wide pedestrian street through the centre of the development, linking the upgraded Chamberlain Square to Centenary Square.

When complete, Paradise will comprise 1.8 million square feet of offices, shops, cafes, restaurants and a hotel in up to ten buildings, all set within public realm of the highest quality in Birmingham’s civic and historical centre. Bringing thousands of new jobs to the city, it will also deliver economic, physical and social benefits.

The Paradise redevelopment is being brought forward through Paradise Circus Limited Partnership (PCLP), a private-public joint venture with Birmingham City Council, with the private sector funding being managed by Hermes Investment Management with Argent acting as development manager. The enabling and infrastructure works, currently underway, have been funded through an approved £61m investment by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

The planning consultant for Phase One is Deloitte Real Estate.  Letting agents for One and Two Chamberlain Square are Bilfinger GVA and CBRE.