RO St Bernards and Staycity Ltd submit a planning application in the enterprise zone

CGIRO St Bernards (ROSB) and Dublin-based serviced apartment operator Staycity are to submit a detailed planning application for a new £15 million 190 bed hotel on the site of the former Science Museum on Charlotte Street, Birmingham; work is expected to start on site early in the new year.

ROSB secured the site and outline planning permission in 2006. The site had lain derelict since the closure of the Science Museum in 1997.

Following demolition and remediation of the site, including the retention and refurbishment of two listed buildings, ROSB completed the first phase in 2009.

Phase one included a 100-bed Travelodge hotel, now one of the most successful in the chain, and 20,000 sq ft of speculative offices, now let to NSPCC, MADE and the Ormiston Academies Trust.

The new planning application follows the principles established by the 2006 planning consent for a five storey building wrapping around the Whitmore Warehouse, and closely follows the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area Design Guide and comments of the Design Review Panel and Birmingham City Council planning and conservation officers. Continue reading

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Three is the magic number for Colliers’ IPM team

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The Birmingham office of property consultancy Colliers International has strengthened its Investment Property Management team with three new appointments.

Holly Jackson has joined as a surveyor. She is responsible for managing a national portfolio of properties consisting predominantly of retail parks, public houses and department stores.

David Chatten has been appointed as a graduate surveyor and property manager. His role includes assisting with the day-to-day management of Warwick Bar, a mixed-use regeneration site in Digbeth. Continue reading

Poundland weighs in to rating revaluation debate

One of the UK’s biggest high street retailers has backed calls for the Government to scrap the planned postponement of the business rates revaluation.

Discount retailer Poundland, which is headquartered in Willenhall, in the Black Country, has thrown its weight behind a campaign to reverse the decision by signing an online Government petition.

The company, which operates around 300 stores across the UK, including 55 stores in the Midlands, and employs around 10,000 people, said the decision to postpone the 2015 revaluation until 2017 was “reckless” given the current decline of the retail market and would only serve to continue the injustice of businesses paying inflated business rates in a depressed climate.

The retailer said it would also lead to more casualties on the high street, following the collapse of household names such as Clintons, Peacocks, JJB Sports and Comet.  Continue reading

Mills & Reeve’s Birmingham office bolstered with appointment of high-profile corporate tax partner

Steve Allen with Kevin Lowe

Steve Allen with Kevin Lowe

National law firm Mills & Reeve has announced the appointment of new corporate tax partner Kevin Lowe to its Birmingham office.

Kevin, who has advised numerous top-tier clients in the corporate tax sphere, was previously a partner at Wragge & Co and has developed a formidable reputation among fellow practitioners as the lead corporate tax lawyer in the region.

He specialises in tax advisory work in relation to transaction structuring, cross-border deals, private equity deals and VAT mitigation, acting not only for a wide range of listed and medium-sized private sector businesses but also for public sector bodies which include both defence and health sectors.

Although primarily based in Birmingham, Kevin will be working with Mills & Reeve’s highly rated cross office tax team to grow the firm’s practice in all regions. Continue reading

Aqueous 3 is a safe choice for BSS

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Diane Sheldon from LAH Property Marketing with Steve Burke from BSS outside their new office at Aqueous 3

British Safety Services (BSS), a leading provider of health and safety training and consultancy services, has relocated to new premises in Aston, Birmingham.

The company has moved to a new 1,306 sq ft office at Aqueous 3 on a five-year lease at a rent of £9 per sq ft.

CBRE’s office agency team in Birmingham advised the landlord, CBRE Global Investors, on the letting, along with joint agent DTZ.

Previously based on Catherine Street, BSS was established in Birmingham in 1991. The company has grown to become a worldwide leader in the field of health and safety training and consultancy, operating from nine offices across the world, including Algeria, China, Dubai, Libya, Qatar and Yemen, as well as representative offices in Kuwait and Pakistan. Continue reading

Graduate clocks in at CBRE after career change

CBRE1A graduate surveyor has joined the Birmingham office of property consultancy CBRE after successfully turning a sideline into a full-time career.

Liz Bailey had previously worked in financial service sales and recruitment, but decided it was time for a new challenge by choosing to retrain as a surveyor in 2009.

Over the past 13 years, she has also managed a personal portfolio of four residential properties, three of which are in the Midlands. After the birth of her two children, she decided to turn her hobby into a career.

Liz has a first class degree in BSc (hons) Real Estate from Birmingham City University.

Following work experience placements at firms including Jones Lang LaSalle, Savills and Colliers International, she has also won numerous property awards, including the RICS West Midlands Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement. Continue reading