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Who Will Win Birmingham's 50K SF Goldman Sachs Requirement?

103 Colmore Row viewed from Victoria Square, Birmingham

Is it a coincidence that the day it was confirmed that investment bank Goldman Sachs would move its engineering department to a 50K SF Birmingham office, the developers of 103 Colmore Row chose to issue a new set of glossy photographs of the 230K SF speculative office building?

Maybe, but you can be sure that Tristan Capital and Sterling Property Ventures have high hopes for the £87M development. Work on-site is due to complete in August 2021. The new Goldman office is due to open in the third quarter of the year. The timing is eerily convenient.

Goldman Sachs does not have many alternatives if it wants grade-A floorspace. According to Savills, standing grade-A supply has fallen by 62% and now sits at just 229K SF.

As Bisnow reported in January 2020, Birmingham was always the favourite to win the Goldman Sachs requirement. Manchester agents reported at the time that the investment bank had organised no viewings, and the widespread view in the city was that the bank, advised by JLL, had already made up its mind. 

The appeal of Birmingham is its relatively large pool of relatively cheap specialist labour. Tech engineering talent in the regional cities is available at up to a 30% discount on wages at London-based operation.