Work to start on £150m regeneration scheme

An artist’s impression of the 27-storey tower that will be the centrepiece of the Beorma Quarter

A multi-million pound regeneration scheme in Digbeth is set to get the go ahead after Birmingham City Council approved plans for the first phase of the development.

The decision paves the way for developers behind the £150 million Beorma Quarter to start work on site later this year.

The Beorma Quarter, which is being funded by Salhia, one of Kuwait’s leading real estate development and investment companies, is a major mixed-use scheme totaling more than 600,000 sq ft of offices, leisure and retail space, a hotel and public square.

The centerpiece of the development will be an impressive 27-storey tower, which will provide more than 300,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation.

Phase one of the development, which is scheduled to start in September, will include a 60,000 sq ft hotel and the refurbishment of the grade II-listed cold storage building on Digbeth High Street into offices with ground floor retail and restaurant space.

Salhia signed an agreement with HSBC in January to fund the first phase, with the bank providing more than £10 million.

Funding for the second and third phases will come from pre-lets secured on the buildings.

Aziz AlNafisi, investment group head at Salhia, said: “The Beorma Quarter will be a fantastic addition to the city of Birmingham and the approval of the plans for the first phase of the development means we can really start moving the project forward.

“We have secured a pre-let on the hotel space, which we will be announcing shortly, and we’re close to appointing a construction contractor, so I’m confident that we’ll be in a position to start on site come the Autumn.”

Mr AlNafisi added that the Beorma Quarter is leading the way in the development of Digbeth – identified as one of seven quarters for regeneration in Birmingham City Council’s Big City Plan.

“The Beorma Quarter is at the forefront of Digbeth’s renaissance and will pave the way for further development in the area,” he said.

“Its location close to the city centre will provide a natural link between the traditional city core and create a gateway to the Digbeth Quarter.

“The vision is for the Beorma Quarter to be a place where people come to meet, socialise, relax and do business.”

The Beorma Quarter is Salhia’s first solo development in the UK. The company began to invest in UK property in 1997 through a joint venture with St Modwen called Key Property Investments.

“Salhia chose Birmingham for its first solo development in the UK because it recognised the opportunities that exist in the city for a scheme like this to succeed and buys into the vision of where Birmingham is going in terms of its redevelopment,” said Mr AlNafisi.

“Salhia is investing in the city as much as it is investing in the Beorma Quarter. It is not simply planning to build and sell up. Salhia wants to be in Birmingham for years to come.”