Staycity checks in at Newhall Square




ROSB has secured a major pre-letting at its Newhall Square development to serviced apartment operator Staycity, for what will be Birmingham’s biggest aparthotel.

Staycity is to open up to 190 apartments to complement its existing 78 at Birmingham’s Arcadian Centre, Hurst Street.

ROSB currently has detailed planning consent for 247 apartments on the site, which fronts Newhall Street, Charlotte Street and the canal.

The developer will submit a revised planning application for the £16million aparthotel in April this year, with construction commencing in Autumn 2012 and completion late 2013.

Staycity has agreed a 30-year lease for the development.

Dublin-based Staycity is backed by Irelandia, the investment vehicle of the Ryan (of Ryanair) family, and currently operates more than 1,000 serviced apartments in Dublin, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool, with new openings planned in many other key European cities. By offering hotel-standard 24-hour receptions, fitness rooms and meeting rooms and the benefits of free Wi-Fi and by committing to continuous staff development in customer service, Staycity aims to differentiate themselves from the myriad of smaller operators around Europe. They aim to professionalise the serviced apartment sector and build on their reputation as a brand their customers can trust.

Newhall Square was the site of the former Birmingham Science Museum. Phase one is complete and includes a 100-bed Travelodge; 10,856 sq ft of new build office let to NSPCC and MADE; and 6,028 sq ft of offices in a fully refurbished Grade II listed building, let to Ormiston Academies Trust.

The balance of the scheme offers new build and refurbishment opportunities for office, hotel, student and leisure accommodation. ROSB is offering fully funded design and build packages from 25,000 sq ft.

ROSB has retained and refurbished the Science Museum’s former Engine Room, which now provides a unique bar/restaurant opportunity at the centre of the site, fronting the square itself.

Chris Bond, chief executive of ROSB, said: “We are delighted Staycity has chosen Newhall Square. We began negotiations before the Enterprise Zone was announced but have no doubt the inclusion of the site in the EZ helped clinch the deal and will help attract other occupiers to the site.

“In addition the new UCB campus opposite, which will serve 9,000 students when complete, will strengthen the location further and we have interest from a number of other hotel operators including a 4 star chain which would complement the Staycity and existing Travelodge operations well. We also have interest from a museum in the former Whitmore Warehouse.”

Andrew Fowler, property director at Staycity, said: “Newhall Square is an ideal location for an aparthotel, being just a short walk from New Street and Snowhill stations, the Bullring, Broad Street, Brindleyplace and the NIA. With parking available on site, on street and in two nearby multi-storey car parks, it’s perfect for both business and leisure guests.”

Craig Satchwell, Adrian Clery and Jonathan Wren of Colliers International advised ROSB on the deal.

Craig said: “Newhall Square is shaping up to be one of the most successful mixed-use schemes in Birmingham. Its location means it is attractive to a wide range of commercial users and it’s one of the very few sites in the city centre which can offer office occupiers fully funded, bespoke office buildings with their own front door and large floor plates.”

Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “”This potential development is one of the first to come on line since the creation of the Enterprise Zone, and clearly demonstrates the role that the Enterprise Zone will play in stimulating growth not just for Birmingham, but the wider region as well.”

Newhall Square will also provide a home for the Bullring’s award-winning Spiral Café. ROSB stepped in with an offer to accommodate the much-loved installation after Bullring owner Hammerson removed it to make way for its Spiceal Street restaurant quarter. Currently in storage, the café will be re-sited at Newhall Square in the final phase.

Picture caption: An artist’s impression of the new staycity aparthotel at ROSB’s Newhall Square development

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