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Public Sector's 800K SF Requirement Will Boost Birmingham Take-Up in 2019

Three Snowhill, as it will look

Public sector requirements totalling 800K SF and lease events from deals signed in busy 2014 will power the Birmingham office market in 2019.

So said KWB, which predicted take-up will exceed the 753K SF recorded in 2018.

“There is estimated to be up to 800K SF of quasi-governmental requirements at present, plus the needs of the Commonwealth Games, the continuing effect of HS2, and a large number of lease events taking place in 2019 and 2020, as occupiers which took five-year leases in 2014 look to relocate,” KWB Head of Office Agency Malcolm Jones said.

Lease events from 2014 will be important. That year take-up was 713K SF, and a peak 148 deals were completed, compared to just 113 in 2018.

Significant deals in 2014 includeded HS2 taking 97K SF at Two Snowgill, HSBC signing for 37K SF at 120 Edmund St., BCU taking 27K SF, CBRE signing for 13.5K SF at 55 Temple Row, and Weightmans taking 15K SF at St Phips Point.

“We expect these lease events, coupled with the 1M SF of new or refurbished space available in 2019, to trigger a flight to quality, as occupiers seek modern, better quality office accommodation, with lower running costs, to help attract and retain staff and clients," Jones said. "In some cases they may actually take less space, but at a higher rental cost in a superior office building."

In Birmingham city centre 1.03M SF of new or refurbished Grade A space is already available, or will come to market in 2019, dominated by Three Snowhill and Two Chamberlain Square, with a further 1.8M SF to be delivered in 2020 and 2021.