Birmingham office rents in global top 50

Birmingham is among the world’s top 50 office locations according to latest research from CBRE.

The city is ranked 42 in the global listing, which is headed by central Hong Kong, with London’s West End in second place.

The countdown is based on the cost of occupying prime office space. More than 130 cities across the globe were surveyed and six UK regional cities feature in the top 50.

The data shows average office occupation costs – which including rents, business rates and service charges – in Birmingham are now US$ 69.64*/ £44.55 per sq ft per annum. Continue reading

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Colliers International goes window shopping

Emel Ahmet, Colliers International and Alex Eveleigh, Ocado

The Birmingham office of Colliers International has been appointed by Ocado to secure pop-up promotional space in shopping centres across the UK.

The virtual shopping walls are to publicise the on-line grocer’s ‘Ocado on the go’ mobile app, which allows shoppers to browse through thousands of product lines and place a delivery in one-hour time slots.

Following a trial in London and Bristol, Ocado is to roll-out the promotion across the UK.

To kick-start the campaign, Colliers secured space at Birmingham’s Bullring for one month. Continue reading

Colliers appointed estate management partner for Mitchells & Butlers

Colliers International has been appointed by leading restaurant and pub operator Mitchells & Butlers to manage its existing 1,600 strong estate.

The appointment followed a review of Mitchells & Butlers’ current and future real estate requirements, which concluded that outsourcing to a specialist provider would deliver the most effective service to support the company going forward, through enhanced performance and increased operational efficiency.

Chris Brook, head of Corporate Solutions at Colliers International in Birmingham, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by Mitchells & Butlers to manage their real estate portfolio across the UK. Continue reading

Brum city centre’s biggest office deal of 2012 signed

Birmingham’s biggest city centre office letting of 2012 has been sealed.

Colliers International has secured a letting of 15,150 sq ft at Maple House, 150 Corporation Street, owned by GE Capital Real Estate.

The tenant, Westinghouse Rail Systems has taken a five-year lease at £13.50 per sq ft.

Westinghouse is part of the Invensys group and develops advanced signalling and integrated control systems for the railway industry.

Alex Tross

GE Capital Real Estate has invested more than £1.5m in the refurbishment of Maple House. Etc. Venues occupies 21,575 sq ft of the 58,315 sq ft building, while Tesco Express is resident on the ground floor. The remaining 6,500 sq ft of office space is being marketed by Colliers International and joint agents GBR Phoenix Beard.

Alex Tross, associate director in the office agency team at Colliers International, said: “Take-up during 2012 has been slow and competition to secure tenants is intense, particularly in the second hand market where there are more options than for Grade A new builds. GE Capital Real Estate’s investment in upgrading Maple House and offering realistic rents has landed them the biggest deal of the year and interest in the remaining space is encouraging.”

According to the Birmingham Office Market Forum, office take-up in central Birmingham in the first half of 2012 totalled 147,654 sq ft over 63 deals, of which, 93,081 sq ft was taken up, across 35 deals in the second quarter Continue reading

Finance Birmingham completes second equity investment deal

Richard Toy, CEO, Auctus and Sam Miller, investment executive, Finance Birmingham

Finance Birmingham has completed its second equity investment with a £400,000 injection into Auctus Management Group (Auctus).

Tyseley-based Auctus, which supplies temporary and contract labour for the rail, utilities and civil engineering industries, will use the cash to finance a new headquarters and training centre, and to fund its expansion following the acquisition of Rail Safety Solutions (RSS). Auctus has also secured a seven-figure invoice discounting facility with Close Brothers. Continue reading

FreshStart Living makes first foray into West Midlands property market

Making a fresh start – Colliers International’s Richard Roberts and Alex Tross with Greg Roberts (centre) from FreshStart Living

Salford-based property investment and development company FreshStart Living has instructed Colliers International in Birmingham to advise it on acquisitions in the West Midlands.

The company, which is headquartered in Swinton, Greater Manchester, specialises in buying derelict or underperforming property stock to convert into affordable residential accommodation for students and key workers.

Colliers International’s office agency and development consultancy teams in Birmingham have been instructed by FreshStart Living to help source and acquire wholly or partly vacant commercial buildings, such as offices and hotels, in excess of 30,000 sq ft in the West Midlands. Continue reading

Under Secretary of State for Schools visits UK’s first standardised school in Rugby

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Hill of Oareford CBE (second from left), is shown around the new building by representatives from Willmott Dixon, Scape, Oakfield Primary School and Wawickshire County Council.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Hill of Oareford CBE, paid a special visit to Oakfield Primary School in Rugby, Warwickshire, to see construction of a school that could revolutionise how schools are built in the future.

Lord Hill, responsible for school funding and capital at the Department for Education, wanted to see first-hand how the standardised system, called Sunesis, can reduce costs and construction time.

Sunesis was launched last year by Willmott Dixon and Scape, a local authority controlled construction procurement company, to help reduce the cost of building new schools and meet the Government’s ‘more for less’ agenda. Continue reading