Arden Cross takes important step forward with the appointment of Bilfinger GVA

(l-r): Carl Potter (Bilfinger GVA); Shaun Gale (Birmingham City Council); Ben Gray and Robert Caddick (both Arden Cross); and Ian Stringer (Bilfinger GVA). Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix.

The Arden Cross Consortium has taken an important step forward in the delivery of its vision for one of the country’s most important strategic development sites, with the appointment of Bilfinger GVA.

Following a competitive tendering process, the commercial property division of the leading real estate advisor has been selected to provide strategic advice on the 350 acre Arden Cross development site near Solihull.

Arden Cross constitutes a strategically important triangular development site bounded by the M42, A45 and A452, and adjacent to Birmingham Airport and International Railway Station and the NEC.

The site has been earmarked as the home of the HS2 Interchange Station, the first stop on the high speed rail line outside of Greater London and the last before the terminus at Curzon in Birmingham city centre.  The HS2 station itself will only constitute a small percentage of the overall site and the landowners are keen to ensure a long-lasting legacy.

Outline masterplanning has focussed on the delivery of a long-term, sustainable mixed-use urban quarter with the station at its heart and capacity to deliver 2,000 new homes and 2.6 million sq ft of commercial space with complementary retail and leisure uses.

Ben Gray, Project Director for the Arden Cross Consortium, said: “While HS2 will be responsible for delivering the Interchange station at Arden Cross, it’s important for us to ensure that the remainder of the site is properly utilised to maximise related economic growth, best meet the demands of the West Midlands region and ensure a lasting legacy.

“We want to deliver a meaningful mixed-use development, utilising our central position within the UK and unparalleled transport connections to attract international businesses and build new homes to bridge the region’s housing gap.

“This is the start of an important stage for Arden Cross and having undertaken an extensive tendering process we are certain that through Bilfinger GVA we have appointed a commercial property consultant with the right balance of skills and experience in delivering large-scale strategically important projects such as this.”

Initially, GVA will be tasked with identifying the investment proposition and working with the Arden Cross Executive to develop its business case, before embarking on a global marketing campaign to attract appropriate investors.

Carl Potter, Senior Director at Bilfinger GVA who is leading the project, said: “Arden Cross represents a genuinely exciting opportunity to create a sustainable mixed-use destination at the heart of the UK. No other development site has this level of connectivity. Its direct links to existing railway infrastructure, wider motorway network and the Airport , not to mention the HS2 line, will provide significant incentives for inward investment occupiers both from within the UK and overseas.”

Arden Cross is a part of UK Central, an economic strategic vision being driven by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and fully supported by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), West Midlands Combined Authority and UK Central Government.

The Arden Cross Consortium represents the interests of the four landowners who have a stake in the Arden Cross site: Birmingham City Council, Packington Estate, Coleshill Estate, and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.