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Why the Change?
The plans to transform Birmingham Grand Central into a modern office space is a huge shift from the centre’s retail past. In recent years, shopping centres have struggled to build demand from the general public. This has led to the closure of 83% of department stores in just five years. In part, this is due to the covid pandemic causing an accelerated shift in consumer behaviour towards online shopping.
Now, large retail units stand empty nationwide. Therefore, leaseholders are looking at alternative ways to fill key units. Due to their central locations, some department stores have been transformed into premium student accommodations. While other department stores have become community spaces. The four-storey retail unit in Grand Central has remained vacant for 3 years. Therefore, as the city has experienced high economic growth in recent years, in Grand Central Birmingham the demand for more office space must be serviced.
What is Included?
A key mission objective of the project is to create synergy across office life; leisure experiences; commuting, and retail shopping. Chief development officer, Harry Badham, declared ‘everything enhances everything else’ when questioned about the plans. Grand Central is home to one of the largest train stations in the midlands, offering direct routes around the country. This could see lots of people relocate for work, as 2,000 jobs are created by the project.
The plans will include a ground-floor restaurant and a ‘premium grocery offering’ to provide healthy and sustainable foods for professionals based in the centre. Furthermore, the project will introduce a fitness centre featuring a gym, a physiotherapy room and changing facilities for cyclists. This reinforces the goal of creating an office space which promotes mental and physical well-being. In addition, the project will improve the local infrastructure in the city.
How will this Benefit the City?
The Grand Central Birmingham project is inspired by the 15-minute city concept. The idea is that all daily necessities can be reached within a 15-minute walk or cycle of a resident’s home or workplace. The idea for Grand Central Birmingham will streamline this process considerably more, with everything available in one unit. Plans will help reduce carbon emissions in the city, as outlined in the Big City Plan regeneration. This will also have a cross-over effect on central Birmingham’s retail units, with the bullring, close by.
The influx of 2,000 jobs created in the division will help grow the local economy. Additionally, the new amenities will increase the quality of life for residents. Therefore, increase retention in the city, as commuters are able to gain everything they need in the city. This will inspire more professionals to relocate to the city. An increase in skilled professionals in an area will boost the rental demand and property prices in the immediate area. As a result of the supply-demand imbalance that it causes.
The Grand Central Birmingham transformation will go beyond a traditional workplace. The introduction of top-class amenities for professionals will create a strong ecosystem for Birmingham Grand Central and Bullring. The project will see some ripples across Birmingham, adding to an already growing property market. For investors, this will signal growth in both rental price and property value.
The project will complete in 2025. Originally, the retail unit cost £35 million to build, while the transformation is part of a £480 million investment into Birmingham. This will see Birmingham become strengthen their position as the UK’s second city. While plans to see the city become the ‘UK’s silicon valley’ could boost the local economy even further.
At CityRise, we have some fantastic investment opportunities available in Birmingham. Our latest launch is an excellent off-market opportunity located near Birmingham City Centre and the International Airport. Containing a selection of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom high-specification apartments. The development has a yield of 8% achievable and offers residents considerably more green space than any other city centre location.
To register interest in this property and to access more information, find out more, here.
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