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Make bags stalled Birmingham Arena Central scheme

Make Architects has been appointed to design the first building of the stalled Arena Central regeneration scheme in Birmingham

The firm has drawn up detailed plans for a speculative seven-storey curved office building called Arena 1, which will be the first element of phase one of the £500million scheme.

Make – named as AJ100 Practice of the Year 2014 last week – intends to submit detailed plans including images to Birmingham City Council next Friday.

Construction is expected to start on the 144,000sq ft Arena 1 next year, with work scheduled to complete in mid-2016.

The scheme is being led by Arena Central Developments (ACD), a 50:50 joint venture between Miller Developments and Bridgehouse Capital.

ACD told the British Council for Offices annual conference in Birmingham last week that it intends to start demolishing buildings this year to make way for the first phase of the 2.3million sq ft mixed-use scheme.

Outline planning permission is in place for 800,000sq ft of offices, 200,000 sq ft of residential units, 1.2million sq ft of retail and leisure and a 210-bedroom Holiday Inn Express hotel, for which demolition work began last year.

During the recession the lack of office demand in Birmingham forced ACD to shelve the scheme. But the latest news will be seen as a sign of market recovery in the regions.

Knight Frank research published today reveals that a lack of supply in Birmingham has driven an uptick in new build residential property prices, with the average price per sq ft rising from a low of £160 in 2010/11 to £250 in 2013/2014.

Make and ACD declined to comment until next week.

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