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Totally Normal Thing Happens In Central Birmingham CBD

Chamberlain Square is back in use after nearly six years under redevelopment.

It is a sight everyone hoped would come: people, outdoors, doing normal things in the middle of Birmingham. There is literally nothing to see. And that feels amazing.

After a year of the coronavirus pandemic and five-and-a-half years of redevelopment, the reopening of Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square marks a watershed for the city and for the £700M Paradise scheme of which the square is a part.

The picture above was taken earlier this week as the square reopened to coincide with an easing of lockdown restrictions. The square closed in November 2015. 

At the heart of the city’s civic and business life for 180 years, the square has been completely updated. However, the centrepiece of the square remains the Chamberlain Memorial, which has been fully cleaned and renovated, with the fountain and its jets replaced. 

Two modern commercial buildings developed by Federated Hermes, One Chamberlain Square and Two Chamberlain Square, now face onto the square and form the commercial part of Phase 1 of Paradise. Between them the blocks total 350K SF.

When office workers last soaked up the sun in Chamberlain Square the UK was a confident and powerful member of the European Union; Boris Johnson was at a loose end as he finished his term as mayor of London early (and took a seat in the House of Commons, despite saying he wouldn’t); and Microsoft founder Bill Gates gave a not-well-remembered TED talk on the danger of global pandemics.

During the last 12 months the 2M SF Paradise scheme scored office deals, with Knights taking 18K SF and Mazars taking 12K SF, joining DLA Piper, which took 40K SF, at Two Chamberlain Square. 

The Paradise development is being brought forward through Paradise Circus Limited Partnership, a private-public joint venture with Birmingham City Council. The private sector funding is being managed by Hermes Investment Management, which has partnered with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on the first phase of the development. Argent is the development manager.