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Birmingham site bought in £50 million apartments deal

By Simon Penfold | Birmingham | Business | Published:

A city centre site in Birmingham has been bought as part of a £50 million deal to create 220 apartments, with work due to start later this year.

How the Birmingham development of Westminster Works would look when completed

Located in Digbeth, the site on the corner of Alcester Street and Moseley Street is within the city’s Southern Gateway £1 billion regeneration zone.

Just minutes from the city's creative digital and media hub – including The Custard Factory, Fazeley Studios and the iconic shopping centre, the Bull Ring – the seven storey Westminster Works, as the project is currently named, is intended to provide "modern living within a vibrant new neighbourhood of privately rented apartments".

The acquisition of the site by property development specialist High Street Residential – one of The High Street Group of Companies – paves the way for construction to get underway later in the year in partnership with local developer Taylor Grange Developments.

Taylor Grange acquired the site 18 months ago and, through the purchase of additional land, created a viable development by increasing the number of apartments to 220.

Meanwhile, the companies are proceeding with a similar proposal close to The Mailbox retail complex and Birmingham's planned HS2 rail link.

With two further Second City sites being seriously considered by the consortium, investment in the private rented sector (PRS) in Birmingham could rise to more than £300 million, creating over 2,000 apartments.

The High Street Group chairman Gary Forrest said: “Birmingham is a dynamic city currently undergoing significant regeneration and therefore it represents a great place to invest. Almost 19 per cent of the UK population is renting privately and this figure is expected to grow significantly.

“In response, we are creating high quality living spaces, future proofed through the use of the latest SMART technologies. There will be communal relaxation facilities, where people can meet, form friendships and build new communities.

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“This style of living is becoming the choice of young professionals and we anticipate increasing our investment levels by around £200 million per year for several years to come.

“Our developments offer extremely attractive investment opportunities for institutional and individual investors who can enjoy yields and capital growth in excess of seven per cent per annum. These are non-volatile, high quality assets offering attractive, long term returns, which we can maximise for our partners.”

Taylor Grange’s chief operating officer, Sam Ginda, added: “We are delighted to have secured this development partnership. High Street Residential’s appetite to be part of the Digbeth area regeneration and its track record in delivering high quality PRS (private rented sector) developments is highly valuable. Both parties share a vision for the future of Birmingham.”

High Street Residential already has private rented sector projects under construction. The first is Silbury Boulevard in Milton Keynes, where a £30 million investment is creating a seven storey facility containing 139 apartments. Grainger, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, has unconditionally agreed to forward fund and acquire this development.

The second is in Newcastle, where the £46 million, 27 storey Hadrian’s Tower will become the city’s tallest building and provide 162 apartments, while work starts this month on Middlewood Plaza in Salford, a £26 million, 126 apartment venture. Further initiatives are at an advanced stage of planning in Warrington and Manchester.

With its headquarters in Cuthbert House, Newcastle, The High Street Group of Companies was established by Gary Forrest in 2006. It has grown to become a leading financial and property group employing over 100 people in activities including large scale property development and construction, hospitality and leisure

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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