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Ben Parkinson
Ben Parkinson
  • 1 Minute Read
  • 11th September 2012

Sale of The Cube indicates Birmingham growth

The Cube development in Birmingham city centre is to be sold.

The 23 storey architectural landmark – built to accommodate office, residential, retail and hospitality suites – has been in administration for the last two years as banks failed to agree a funding package with developers.

Designed by critically acclaimed architect Ken Shuttleworth, the man behind London’s “Gherkin”, the project was completed in 2010 at a total cost of £100m.

The building – containing extensive office space, a four star hotel and Marco Pierre-White restaurant – has already had “a lot of interest” according to owners Birmingham Development Company, who added it was “a good time in the property market [to sell]”.

It comes amid news that Birmingham has been ranked in the top 50 global office locations, as well as receiving a ringing celebrity endorsement for the city’s planned Paradise Circus development.

Research from CBRE suggests Birmingham has maintained its position alongside five other UK cities - despite the Eurozone crisis. Data collected for the survey shows average occupation costs (including rents, business rates and service charges) in the city are now £44.55 per sq ft per annum.

Ashley Hancox, CBRE’s head of regional office agency, said: “A thriving industrial base undoubtedly benefits the office market. The rising fortunes of the region’s innovative manufacturers, such as VAX, is a good example, similarly we hope the current good fortunes of the motor industry will support the finance and business sector in the city centre indirectly, if not directly.”

Plans for city centre development are already bearing fruit; with Birmingham Town Hall, Central Library and the adjoining square all part of the master-plan of architect Glenn Howells to create Paradise Circus – a continental style series of pedestrianized plazas.

Grand Designs presenter and architect Kevin McCloud, said: “One of the most significant things about the Paradise scheme is that it puts pedestrians before traffic”, adding: “I really welcome the Paradise Circus initiative. It creates public realm, a space for people to enjoy, a pedestrian landscape which can be accessed and lived with in much greater liberty”, “being able to tie those buildings together, if it works out it, is going to be a place of public realm on a par with European cities like Dresden”.