Local developers EDG Property have reached a major milestone at The School Yard scheme in Harborne as the first phase completes.
Marked with a celebratory, festive event held in the new central courtyard at the heart of the £5m development, Christmas cheer was the order of the day as local school children from The Blue Coat School performed carols by candlelight.
Playing on the scheme’s original use as a school, local glitterati, including Harborne residents, traders and business people were welcomed by the “headmaster” as they enjoyed the Christmas market atmosphere with mulled wine, stalls and more entertainment from a “flash mob” dance troupe.
With coffee emporium Urban Coffee Company and Birmingham’s first Prezzo restaurant now open for business, the developer has also confirmed the second phase of the scheme will start in the new year as well as hinting at two further lettings for the scheme, which includes the community food school.
Neil Edginton, EDG Property, said: “Slap bang in the middle of Harborne, this beautiful listed building had become something of an eyesore, shrouded in scaffolding and with an uncertain future. When we acquired the site in 2011, though it was loved by the local community, it was falling into disrepair.
“Fast forward less than two years and it’s fantastic to celebrate the completion of the first phase of its redevelopment by inviting our neighbours, friends and colleagues into The School Yard to kickstart the festive season with a mince pie and specially prepared “cofftail” or mulled wine.
The second phase comprises a small number of apartments and townhouses. EDG Property launched a design competition earlier this autumn to find the architects who will design this second, new build phase and the final shortlist comprises two Birmingham based practices, Bryant Priest Newman and ADP.
Neil Edginton continued: “Our aim is to bring heritage and contemporary style together, and feedback has been phenomenal, particularly for the wonderful public courtyard at the heart of the development and the best bits of the listed building have now been restored and are back in use. We have added some contemporary touches, such as external feature lighting, and used high quality materials and finishes throughout that complement the distinct architectural style and highlight its features.”
The event celebrated success to date, which includes the first of Italian chain Prezzo’s Birmingham restaurants and the £30,000 restoration of the building’s original listed clock tower and the clock itself, which is now keeping time for the first time since the mid-80s.
One third of the residential properties have already been reserved off-plan by early registrants and a further release of homes is set for the new year. Interested parties are encouraged to register with EDG Property by calling 0121 654 9404 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org – as sales will be on a first-come, first-served basis.