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Your Home In Paradise: Birmingham Office Scheme Pivots To Residential

March 2020
The Paradise development takes shape, developed by Paradise Circus Limited Partnership.

As many as 300 new build-to-rent apartments are to be added to Birmingham’s office-led Paradise redevelopment as the city's property sector pivots toward BTR.

The new 300-unit building will replace plans for Two Congreve Square, a block identified on the original master plan for a 120K SF office building.

Today the site is occupied by the 25K SF 77 Paradise Circus Queensway office block.

The 300-unit scheme is the first time residential has been tried at the 2M SF Paradise office development. 

However, the introduction of residential use will not necessarily cut the volume of office floorspace.

“The residential element may have little or no impact on the amount of commercial space developed at Paradise overall since if the demand is there, we may bring forward slightly larger buildings on the remaining plot,” a Paradise spokesperson told Bisnow.

The apartment block, designed by Birmingham-based Glenn Howells Architects, could complete by 2023. A new planning application is due later this spring. Paradise’s current outline planning permission dates from 2013. 

Data published last week by CBRE suggested Birmingham will see 10,000 new private rented sector units developed in the years to 2028. This will take the total to 109,000 PRS units, the largest single cluster outside London. 

The developer is Paradise Circus Limited Partnership, a private-public joint venture between Birmingham City Council and Federated Hermes Investment Management, backed on the first phase by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Argent is the development manager. 

“Paradise is about delivering long-term holistic returns by working in partnership with the public sector to deliver outstanding outcomes for Birmingham city centre. We must respond to market demands, and this proposed building is a reflection of that fact,” Federated Hermes Head of Private Markets Chris Taylor said.

“The demand for very high-quality residential buildings alongside places where people work and spend their leisure time is critical to the long-term success and sustainability of major cities like Birmingham. But this mix should always happen in the right places at the right time, which is precisely why we are bringing forward this proposed change now in this particular part of our overall sit,” Argent Regional Director Rob Groves said.

Paradise also includes food and beverage floorspace and a four-star hotel.

According to CBRE estimates, 21% of Birmingham’s households are private renters. This is forecast to rise to 26% in the next five years. The percentage of private renters in the city centre is significantly higher, currently accounting for 56% of households and forecast to rise to 63%. CBRE said that of the 5,000 residential units under construction in Birmingham, around a third are build to rent. Developments include Phase 2 of Exchange Square (375 apartments), Holloway Head (484 apartments) and Gilder’s Yard, Jewellery Quarter (156 apartments).

Will build-to-rent residential eclipse office development as the big talking point of the early 2020s? To join the conversation at the Bisnow Birmingham State of the Market event on 24 March, register here.