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Design work up for grabs as Lendlease wins £1.5bn Birmingham job

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Developer Lendlease has yet to appoint architects for its £1.5 billion project to transform the 17ha Smithfield site next to Birmingham’s Bullring and New Street Station

Earlier today (9 November) Birmingham City Council announced Lendlease as its joint venture development partner on the major scheme which will create a new urban quarter in the city centre.

However, the AJ understands the developer has not finalised its design team for the project, which includes a new home for the city’s historic Bullring retail markets, a public square and more than 2,000 homes.

According to the council, Birmingham Smithfield will form a key part of the city’s Big City Plan, launched in 2010, which sets out a 25-year vision to grow the city centre by more than 25 per cent.

The area, hailed as the ‘city’s most important redevelopment opportunity’ by the council, is close to the new High Speed 2 City Centre Terminus Station due to open in 2026.

Council leader Ian Ward described Lendlease as an ‘internationally leading developer with a proven track record of bringing forward major development schemes’. The developer was chosen following an OJEU Competitive Dialogue Procurement process.

Ward said: ‘The delivery of Birmingham Smithfield will be a major boost for Birmingham. With the new cultural and leisure attractions, the public realm, new homes and retail markets, the development will appeal to both national and international audiences. Alongside these fantastic new facilities, the development will also deliver substantial benefits for the people of Birmingham.’

He added: ‘Lendlease has committed to invest in the local community and create thousands of new jobs and training opportunities. This scheme will create a legacy for the citizens of Birmingham and become an exemplar for inclusive economic growth.”

The area is brimming with creativity and opportunity

Lendlease Europe chief executive Dan Labbad said: ‘Smithfield is the birthplace of Birmingham, known for its markets which have always been at the heart of the city. Much like Birmingham itself, the area is brimming with creativity and opportunity.

‘Our plans for the redevelopment will respect this heritage and bring more jobs, homes and environmental benefits to the area and the people of Birmingham.’

Smithfield master cgi day

Lendlease’s winning Birmingham Smithfield proposal [January 2019] - masterplan

Lendlease’s winning Birmingham Smithfield proposal [January 2019] - masterplan

Elsewhere in the country, Lendlease is working on the over-station development of Euston with the likes of AHMM, BIG and Grimshaw (see AHMM, BIG and Grimshaw land £4 billion Euston station jackpot).

Last year, Lendlease and Haringey Council became locked in a legal dispute after the local authority scrapped the developer’s controversial Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) – a major regeneration scheme in the north London borough. 

Lendlease filed a claim against the council over its decision to drop the scheme, but subsequently reached a settlement with the local authority which it said has enabled them to ‘to move forward and work together on the High Road West scheme’.

In Birmingham, the city council said it would now work with Lendlease ‘to finalise the terms of the partnership, commence the preparation of a planning application and produce a business plan for the site’s redevelopment before the formal award of the Birmingham Smithfield Development Partner contract’.

This is expected to happen later this year with work expected to start on the site, which is part of the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, in 2022. 

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