Author Archives: Kate

A blueprint has been unveiled that is set to transform Fort Dunlop into one of the region’s most exciting mixed-use developments.

The atrium of the iconic office development has already been completely overhauled in a £400,000 investment since it was acquired by a fund managed by Tristan Capital Partners in partnership with EDG Property in 2014.

Now the building’s owners have unveiled a multi-million pound plan to transform significant areas of the site, that will include a glass conference centre on the building’s roof, a new car-park and deck, a refurbishment of the scheme’s Travelodge hotel with a new dedicated car-park and an upgrade of Fort Dunlop’s retail and F&B offer.  

EDG Property director Neil Edginton, said this was the start of an exciting new era for Fort Dunlop.

He said: “The success of Fort Dunlop since it was redeveloped a decade ago is undoubted but the new investment in the building will take it to a whole new level.

“There are more than 2,500 people who work at Fort Dunlop every day and many more who already visit the building to use the gym and the existing retail every week, but we believe there remains the prospect of driving further growth with the right investment.

“First and foremost we have to ensure the infrastructure is in place to accommodate those already using Fort Dunlop as well as the potential growth in visitors so the addition of several hundred new car parking spaces is a critical component of our plans.

“One of the real success stories at Fort Dunlop has been the hotel and we are working closely with Travelodge who are committed to a major upgrade and we are supporting that with the creation of a new dedicated 45-space car park next to the hotel.

“In retailers like Specialized and PoggenPohl, Fort Dunlop already has a unique offer that attracts visitors from across the region so again we feel that there is an opportunity to improve the general environment so we can attract more retailers of a similar stature and ultimately give people more reason to visit and dwell for longer.

“The largest investment and the element of the blueprint which we believe is a real game-changer for Fort Dunlop is the addition of the glass conference centre on the roof.

“The roof is a great space with fantastic views over the city and we are confident there is a market for a conference space that offers something completely unique for delegates. Combine this with the investment in the hotel, the car-parking, the food and drink offer, the retail and the general environment and we are creating a destination with an incredibly positive future.”

A planning application for the first phase of the works is set to be submitted to Birmingham City Council shortly, with construction (subject to planning approval), set to get underway in 2016.

EDG Property has acquired a landmark building in the heart of Coventry as it makes its first foray into the city currently enjoying a major renaissance on back of the success of its universities and companies like Jaguar Land Rover.

The building near the city’s famous Belgrade Theatre has been the home of a major Co-op store for more than half a century but the retailer decided to sell the building and focus on its other stores in the city.

EDG Property is currently working with a leading architects firm to draw up a proposal for the 140,000 sq ft building and director Neil Edginton said it was an exciting time to be investing in Coventry.

He said: “Coventry is a city with a growing reputation so we are delighted to have been able to acquire a such a prime building in the heart of the city and we very excited about the opportunities it offers.”

Coventry is currently experiencing unprecedented investment with Coventry University alone investing several hundred million in its city centre campus and student accommodation.

In the last two months major student schemes – one behind the Belgrade Theatre and the other on the site of the old sorting office – have been announced and in total there are more than 5,000 student units either in planning or under construction within a mile of the city centre.

Other developments of note include the Friargate scheme next to Coventry station that is set to be the new home of Coventry City Council and the national headquarters of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

The city is also developing a new restaurant quarter around the soon to be revamped Cathedral Lanes development which will include a Las Iguanas and Cosy Club and potentially a new Wagamamas.

Neil added: “Coventry is starting to fulfill its significant potential and we are seeing investors beginning to flock to the city to take advantage of city centre that is wanting to thrive again.

“The strong reputations of the city’s universities is bringing greater numbers of students to the city who are playing a key part in driving the local economy, not just in term time but all year round as they increasingly decide to put their roots down and make the city their home.

“There is also a real can-do attitude in the city when it comes to grasping the opportunities on offer, which is being driven by a hugely ambitious city council that is determined to put Coventry back on the map.”

With the cladding complete and the picture windows now in place – it is not difficult to see why The School Yard apartments were all sold off-plan.

Set for completion in November, the residential apartments will complete a two-phase scheme in the heart of Harborne Village in Birmingham, which has already won a string of awards from such diverse organisations from the Birmingham Civic Society to the RICS.

EDG director Neil Edginton said everyone’s focus was now completing the project on time and getting the new residents moved in so that they can enjoy their first Christmas in the scheme.

He said: “Now that the zinc cladding has been applied, the development is starting to look like the CGI images we produced at the beginning of this process and which ultimately the buyers saw and decided that it was somewhere they wanted to live.

“Work is now focused on the interiors of the apartments and now that the windows are in you can really begin to understand the impact of the huge picture windows in the apartments in terms of the light and the great views they offer across Harborne.

“The project remains on time and completion is planned for later this year.   We are looking forward to welcoming residents to their new homes so that they can enjoy Christmas at The School Yard. It has been an exciting process for EDG delivering this residential scheme and we plan to announce further new projects in the very near future.”

The stunning exterior of the second phase of the award-winning School Yard scheme is beginning to emerge as the project heads towards completion later this year.

The multi-million pound scheme in Harborne is being clad in anthracite zinc – a first for a residential development of this size in Birmingham – with the eight-week zinc construction set to be complete by the end of July.

The 13 residential units – which include one, two and three bedroomed apartments and a townhouse – have been designed by Jewellery Quarter-based Bryant Priest Newman and have all already been sold to individual buyers.

EDG Property director Neil Edginton said the cladding marked an exciting new period for the development, which had been designed to work sensitively with the first phase of the scheme.

He said: “Creating extraordinary rather than ordinary buildings is what EDG Property is about and we feel that second phase of The School Yard is almost more important than the first because it is about creating something new that is sensitive to its surroundings rather than converting something that existed already.

“Bryant Priest Newman is one of the city’s most innovative architects and the application of zinc cladding will create a stunning finish on what are fantastically appointed apartments.

“The process itself is not necessarily a difficult one although it can be time-consuming as the fabricated zinc is bent to shape on site so it is more of a craft than other cladding systems.

“The guys who are carrying out the work do all of the fabrication on site, so it’s a much more crafted finish than manufactured, which again ties in the Listed elements in the first phase of the scheme.

“In total the cladding of the whole building will take around eight weeks so should be complete by the end of July. The roof has also now been completed and while there is still some external timber-work to finish, the major part of the project is now the internal fit out which we are hoping to have complete by mid-autumn.”

The countdown has begun for the grand unveiling of an art project that will give visitors to The Cube a real hoot – and help raise £250,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

From July 20 more than 90 5ft 5in specially decorated owls will go on display across Birmingham as part of the Big Hoot art trail.

Companies across the city have paid £6,000 each to sponsor an owl and each one is currently being decorated to the sponsor’s specification from 150 different possible designs.

There will be two owls gracing The Cube when the project is launched in late July as the owners of the building have sponsored one as has Marco Pierre White’s restaurant on the 25th floor.

Not surprisingly, for our owl at The Cube, we have chosen a design called Mr Architect – designed by Southampton-based artist Sam Pierpoint – which incorporates elements from key landmarks across the city including The Cube’s instantly recognisable gold cladding.

The project by arts specialists Wild at Art has really caught the imagination of the city and has even received the backing of one of Birmingham’s most famous sons Ozzy Osbourne whose son Louis was treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Working with Retail Birmingham, Ozzy has produced his own design for an owl that will be unveiled at an unknown location on July 20.

EDG Property director Neil Edginton, Tristan Capital’s joint venture partner on The Cube, and also chair of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said the response to the appeal had been overwhelming.

He said: “The children’s hospital is a real jewel in the city’s crown and that is recognised by the city’s businesses who relentlessly show their support by raising the essential funds for the hospital.

“Year after year we continue to be surprised at the generosity of this city and just this month we have a sports day organised by DLA and the Weslyan’s Big Bandage event which will generate more funds for the hospital’s Magnolia House appeal, to help build a facility that will support families at the hospital.

“The Big Hoot has been such a great idea and to get 90 different organisations involved has been nothing short of sensational.

“I’m really excited about the big reveal on July 20 and seeing Mr Architect take pride of place at The Cube for the rest of the summer.”

For more information on the Big Hoot please visit www.thebighoot.co.uk