Author Archives: Kate

LaSalle Investment Management (“LaSalle”), the global real estate investment manager, has appointed award-winning developer, EDG Property, to start work on transforming a collection of vacant offices into luxury apartments in the heart of Birmingham city centre.

EDG Property, whose award winning portfolio includes The School Yard in Harborne, will convert the former offices on New Street into 19 high specification one and two bedroomed apartments on behalf of Lasalle Investment Management.

Edd Fitch, National Director, LaSalle Investment Management said: “The office to residential conversion of New Street Chambers demonstrates our ability to add value to assets in core locations around the country. We have appointed EDG Property on this project because of its extensive expertise in this area of the market and its ability to create award winning residential apartments.”

Located just yards away from New Street Station and Victoria Square and above ground floor units that include a coffee shop and Office Angels, ‘New Street Chambers’ will offer some of the city’s best located apartments according to EDG director Neil Edginton.

He said: “As the main artery running through the heart of Birmingham, New Street is the city’s most important thoroughfare, so development opportunities like this are incredibly rare.

“New Street has evolved over the years but significant elements of its historic fabric still remain and New Street Chambers offers a unique chance to breathe new life into buildings that date back to a time when Birmingham was emerging as a Victorian powerhouse.

“The city is currently experiencing another golden period in its history with unprecedented investment currently transforming the city centre and this is driving an incredibly buoyant city centre apartment market.

“As well as having a fantastic address, these elegant apartments will be no more than a stone’s throw from Grand Central and John Lewis, the Town Hall and Colmore Row and it is hard to imagine a spot that better encapsulates the opportunities offered by city living in Birmingham.”

Main contractor AOC Contracts has been appointed to deliver the project while the design is by Warwick-based architect Corstorphine + Wright. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

The start on site of New Street Chambers comes as another EDG project, The School Yard in Harborne, has been shortlisted for a RIBA award, the most prestigious award in the property industry.

The second phase of the scheme, which included a zinc-clad development of luxury apartments, has been nominated alongside other West Midland projects including the recently transformed New Street Station and the former Birmingham Assay Office.

The first phase of The School Yard, which saw the transformation of the Grade II listed clock tower in Harborne into a thriving mixed use scheme with restaurants and a cookery school, won an RICS award as well as a Renaissance Award from the Birmingham Civic Society.

The second phase of The School Yard in Harborne has been shortlisted for a RIBA – the ‘Oscars’ of the property sector.

Designed by Jewellery Quarter-based BPN Architects, the project was the second phase of a mixed use scheme that had already won a string of awards for sensitively breathing new life into the long vacant Grade II Listed Clock Tower building in the heart of the popular Birmingham suburb.

The eight projects shortlisted for regional gongs also include the Assay Office in Birmingham and £600m transformation of New Street Station.

Jonathan Hines, chairman of the judging panel, said: “The jury was impressed by the overall standard of quality of the buildings submitted this year. The range of buildings, from residential projects to a major infrastructure scheme, was quite striking and made our job a challenging one. Congratulations to all who have been shortlisted and we look forward to announcing the winners in April.”

The regional winners will be announced on 28 April who be put forward for the RIBA National Awards, with those winners announced in June. Those collecting national awards will then be considered for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize, the world’s most prestigious prize for building design.

EDG director Neil Edginton said that just be shortlisted is a fantastic accolade for The School Yard and a great tribute to everyone involved in delivering the project.

He said: “When you look at the quality and scale of the other projects that have been shortlisted, it is hard to express quite how proud I am of everyone who worked so hard to turn our vision for this much loved but long neglected site into a reality.

“Our ethos is very much about pushing the boundaries and challenging conventional thinking and the design created by BPN and executed by our construction team has created an exciting new addition to the cityscape, which not only looks fantastic but has been a huge success, having all sold off plan.”

The second phase of The School Yard that has been nominated for the RIBA award saw the construction of 12 apartments and a townhouse in two blocks linked by an open staircase and clad in anthracite zinc and Siberian larch.

The first phase of the scheme, which won RICS and Birmingham Civic Society awards, saw the creation of a vibrant social hub with new restaurants, coffee shop and food school on the site of an old Victorian school.

Leading total quality management services provider to the automotive and aerospace industries, G&P has relocated its global headquarters to one of the most iconic sites in the Midlands.

The company is now based at the historic and highly-visible Fort Dunlop building, conveniently situated next to the M6 on the edge of Birmingham, at the heart of the UK’s automotive industry.

“In recent years G&P has experienced substantial levels of growth and our relocation to Fort Dunlop is a significant reflection of this ongoing success and expansion,” comments Dino Kyriacou, Chairman, G&P. “This is an incredibly exciting time for G&P, the relocation provides us with the additional space and capabilities that we require to accommodate our further growth.”

The 13,500 ft² space being taken up by G&P is located on the 4th floor of the historic building, providing ample office and meeting room space for the company’s 75 staff that will be based at its headquarters. In addition to the staff that will be based at its new HQ, G&P also employs a further 1300 staff members globally, helping manufacturing companies and their suppliers improve quality, efficiency and profitability.

Indeed, the company works closely with Jaguar Land Rover amongst others, whose Castle Bromwich plant is situated immediately next to the Fort Dunlop building. Arne Willerslev-Legrand, Group Managing Director G&P comments, “We expect that this closer proximity to our customers will further cement G&P’s position as the strategic partner of choice for the world’s leading vehicle and aerospace manufacturers.”

The Fort Dunlop building has undergone a significant resurgence itself in recent years. Originally built in 1916 as the main factory for Dunlop Rubber, it was at one point the largest factory in the world, and in 1954, employed more than 10,000 workers. Today, the modernised building is a hub of innovation and creativity, and alongside G&P, more than 40 businesses are located at the site as well as a host of retail and leisure outlets, eateries and even a hotel.

Neil Edginton, Managing Director of EDG Property, said; “Offering quality management services to the automotive and aerospace industries, G&P is an award winning and well respected company and we’re delighted they’ve chosen Fort Dunlop to relocate to. Our location once again proved key, and our proximity to a number of key automotive brands proved to be the ideal combination for G&P. We’ve got an incredibly dynamic mix of businesses based at Fort Dunlop now, it’s an exciting time to be part of this flourishing business community.”

For more information about the quality management services that will offered by G&P from its new Fort Dunlop base, visit www.gpqm.com.

A cluster of new homes being developed by EDG Property on a major new housing scheme are set to be designed by the same team behind the award-winning The School Yard in Birmingham.

EDG Property has submitted a planning application for 23 new units on the Priors Hall Park development in Corby, Northamptonshire, which have been designed by Birmingham based BPN Architects.

BPN is one of the city’s most innovative architect firms and designed the residential phase of The School Yard scheme in Harborne Village Birmingham, which was completed last year.

Priors Hall Park is one of the largest development projects in the UK, which will see more than 5,000 new homes, new schools, a retail hub and 1 million sq ft of commercial space developed around parkland over the next 10 years.

The majority of the houses on Priors Hall Park are being developed by national house-builders such as Barratt, David Wilson and Taylor Wimpey while EDG Property is planning to develop small clusters throughout the scheme, which will deliver a completely different offer for buyers.

EDG director Neil Edginton said: “Priors Hall Park is a high quality development that is creating an exciting new community in Northamptonshire, an increasingly popular part of the country with strong links into major employment hubs such as Birmingham, Milton Keynes and even the capital.

“Like any development of this scale, it is important that there is the right mix of housing and as part of that process EDG Property is working with BPN to create 23 really exceptional detached houses that will offer a variation in the context of the overall development.

“The architect-designed homes will be three storeys with key design elements including open plan living, large expanses of glass to maximise views and huge roof terraces overlooking the parkland. We hope they will be a welcome addition to the Priors Hall Park success story.”

Coventry is nothing if not resilient.

Time and again it has ridden the ebbs and flow of the economic cycle and come out fighting the other side.

Even when the impediment was two nights of bombing by the Luftwaffe, it dusted itself down and reinvented itself as a new kind of city with innovations such as the world’s first ringroad and multi-storey car park.

Where once it had been ribbon, then watches and then the bicycle, for more than two generations it was the motor car when the city was home to such celebrated marques as Daimler and Triumph, Hillman and Rover.

But all good things come to an end and as the glory years of the Midlands motor industry faded, so Coventry slipped into a post-industrial malaise that threatened to leave the city in the 21st century’s slow lane.

Thankfully, the Midlands motor industry was far from extinct, it was merely hibernating. The resurgence of Jaguar Land Rover has been one of UK plc’s most remarkable success stories with the Coventry-based company now selling up to 40,000 cars every month and supporting around 200,000 jobs across the region.

The knock-on effects have been staggering. It is no exaggeration to say that Warwick Manufacturing Group, the research facility founded by celebrated industrialist Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya at Warwick University, has become a globally important hub for automotive R&D and the university continues to be one of the top 50 in the world.

Seemingly out of nowhere Coventry University has been voted the best modern university in the country for the past two years while the council is investing in the major new Friargate development around the train station which will also be the global headquarters Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors – the ultimate seal of approval for a city trying to attract the attention of the property sector..

It is a resurgence that has not gone unnoticed. Investors from near and far are now eyeing up Coventry as a city that’s going places and a raft of new development is planned across the city to accommodate the increasing numbers of businesses, workers and students who are making the city their home.

One project that is set to stand out from the crowd is The Co-operative – a proposed mixed use scheme in the heart of the city that is the brainchild of a developer that has an enviable track record for transforming the post-industrial landscape.

EDG Property was established by Neil Edginton five years ago and already has several hundred million pounds worth of assets either delivered, under management or in the pipeline and he is promising to deliver a new landmark that reflects Coventry’s new found confidence.

“There’s probably never been a better time to invest in Coventry,” he said. “When you look at schemes like Friargate, which is going to create a fantastic new gateway to the city, it is clear that there is a real belief in the long term economic viability of the city.

“We are always looking for exciting place making opportunities and projects that can improve the cityscape.  The Co-operative building certainly has the potential of being something the city can be proud of.

The Co-operative is the former home of the Co-op superstore opposite the famous Belgrade Theatre in the centre of Coventry and EDG Property has brought in Ken Shuttleworth’s Make Architects to draw up plans for the 140,000 sq ft building, the same practice that designed and delivered The Cube in Birmingham, a building Edginton developed and now manages on behalf of its investment fund owners.

A feasibility study has examined a range of options including residential, office, retail and student accommodation for the Co-operative and a planning application is due to be submitted in early 2016 but whatever the final configuration, Edginton is confident that it will be a development that stands out from the crowd.

He said: “This is anything but a straight-forward project and there is a great deal of affection for this building in Coventry in terms of how it fits into the city’s urban fabric and also what it represents as the former home of one of the city’s favourite department stores so we are very mindful of that.

“Our intention is to retain the best parts of the building and its history and really build on that with a modern interpretation that will create new value while also acting as a catalyst for further regeneration in this part of the city.

“EDG Property is about creating fantastic places and spaces and we want The Co-operative to be a development with real personality that becomes a genuine landmark for Coventry.”

While The Co-operative is one of EDG Property’s largest current projects, it is far from the only scheme project presently occupying Edginton’s time as he splits his time between developing new schemes and adding value to existing developments.

Having built a strong relationship with some of the countries largest private equity funds, EDG Property now also manages assets such as The Cube and Fort Dunlop, which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound redevelopment.

Elsewhere in Birmingham EDG Property’s The School Yard scheme in Harborne Village is on the verge of completion having worked with architects Bryant Priest Newman to transform a former Victorian school off the High Street into an award-wining mixed development that includes a thriving food school, a bar and restaurant and 13 apartments that all sold before a spade went in the ground.

EDG is also looking at two more high-profile Birmingham city centre schemes for which it is likely to submit planning applications in the coming months and it is testament to the company’s track record and growing reputation that it is now working with a number of the UK’s largest opportunity funds and banks as well as investing its own capital as it continues to look for new opportunities.

Further afield EDG is currently involved at a new mixed use leisure development in the heart of Cannock Town Centre as well as overseeing a 5,000 home development in Northamptonshire which is being built out by a number of major housebuilders although EDG is again working with BPN on a range of high end bespoke townhouses which it will deliver itself.

If life wasn’t busy enough, Neil is also chairman of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity which has just enjoyed its most successful ever fundraising campaign after the celebrated Big Hoot initiative raised around £500,000 of much needed funds.

“The major assets under our management are also now really starting to come alive,” he said. “There will be a great story to tell around Fort Dunlop in the coming year while The Cube has now fulfilled the vision we had for the building when we first embarked on the project 11 years ago.”

“These are incredibly exciting times. As a company we are always looking for potential and those difficult and challenging projects where the opportunity might not seem immediately obvious and because of that, the schemes we are currently working on are as exciting as anything I’ve ever worked on.”