Author Archives: Kate

Birmingham success story Urban Coffee Company has signed a deal to take the last available commercial unit at EDG Property’s The School Yard development in Harborne.

This will be the third Urban Coffee outlet in the city, joining its Jewellery Quarter and Church Street sister venues. Urban Coffee Company has been at the forefront of a coffee-based revolution in the city, following the success of its first emporium on Church Street in the city centre.

This is the fourth and final signing secured at EDG Property’s mixed use scheme, alongside Prezzo Group, Metro Continental and community cookery school Kitchen.

Simon Jenner, director of Urban Coffee Company, said: “We have been looking to expand into the city’s popular suburbs for some time and finding a new home for our third coffee emporium at The School Yard is perfect.

“The combination of old and new architecture and modern design, at the heart of Harborne village fits with our brand identity, particularly as we like to think of our emporiums as being an urban version of a village hall and a major aim is to involve ourselves with the local community. Of course, we can’t wait to bring good coffee and our individual style to the good people of Harborne.”

Plans for the Harborne store, which will overlook the new public square at the heart of the scheme, include establishing a programme of events including film nights, knitting clubs and book clubs. Meanwhile, the Urban Coffee team is also planning further expansion and aims to open a further two emporiums in the next 18 months.

Neil Edginton, director of EDG Property, said: “The first quarter of this year has been great for progress at The School Yard – we are onsite with our construction team, we have recorded exceptionally high levels of pre-launch interest for the residential element and we have completed this final letting with Urban Coffee.

“The Urban Coffee offer is a perfect complement to the restaurant/ café scene in Harborne and we’re pleased to have attracted Simon and his team from the city to launch their first suburban store.”

Construction at The School Yard started this month and the commercial units are scheduled to be operational by Christmas. The residential phase of the scheme, which comprises a number of apartments and two townhouses, is yet to be launched to the market, but interested parties may pre-register with EDG Property for the first chance to secure a property.

Mark Holden, Director of EDG Property, has been honoured with the award of ‘Business Champion for Arts and Business’ at a ceremony held at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The award, sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover, recognises individuals from the private sector that have made a significant contribution to the arts.

Mark was nominated by mac Birmingham for his work. Dorothy Wilson MBE FRSA, Chief Executive, mac Birmingham commented; “Mark Holden has had a significant impact on the arts and heritage infrastructure in the Midlands, through involvement with a range of projects including Birmingham Hippodrome redevelopment; the refurbishment of mac Birmingham; advising on the deliverability of the new Library for Birmingham; the restoration of Birmingham Town Hall and Aston Hall. He is currently working with The Drum and the CBSO.

Mark’s commitment has gone above and beyond this by becoming a donor to mac’s Building Project appeal, continuing to act as an (unpaid) adviser and giving considerable amounts of personal time to mac as well as to other organisations to assist projects in their early stages – sharing his considerable knowledge and experience with project managers trying to find a way through property and construction minefields. As an expert adviser on lowering the environmental impact of buildings and services Mark is making a lasting difference to a number of organisations. His ability to make connections and help people help themselves is as significant as is his generosity in assisting organisations to realise value and improve performance through their Business, Property and Construction activities.”

Mark commented “This came out of the blue as a lovely surprise. I am privileged to have worked extensively in the Midlands arts and cultural sector.”

Developers at Harborne’s most exclusive scheme are inviting potential purchasers to register for an exclusive pre-launch appointment for the first chance to reserve a property at The School Yard.

Following a preview of the residential element of the mixed use scheme at international property expo MIPIM, high levels of pre-launch interest have already been logged. Those who have already priority registered have been invited to a one-on-one appointment in early April for the first chance to secure a property. The scheme offers the very best of village living, just three miles from the city centre and there is one last chance to priority register before the end of March.

Neil Edginton, director of EDG Property, said: “We have recorded excellent levels of pre-release interest for the properties at The School Yard and feedback from our exclusive preview at MIPIM was very positive. The attraction for purchasers is clear as they want to enjoy high specification living as well as taking advantage of the excellent location at the heart of the Harborne community.

“We have purposefully released limited information about properties at the scheme but we’re now inviting people who have registered to come for a private appointment with our team to find out more and have first choice of the homes. Priority registration before the end of the month really is the only way to ensure that you secure a property. Additionally, as we are still able to refine interior design specifications, early purchasers will have the chance to individualise their own living spaces working with our architect.”

There will be a mix of one and two bed apartments and two townhouses at The School Yard which will be located at the rear of the existing listed building in a contemporary new build overlooking the new public square. The two-bed and three-bed townhouses will have their own Zen gardens, while the apartments will benefit from secure access, a glazed atrium with lift access and all properties have allocated car-parking.

Mark Evans, Knight Frank, added: “The fundamentals of the property market have changed very little over the years – location and quality speak volumes and will always attract purchasers. Further good news is that findings of recent research by the RICS that report property sales have reached a 15-month high in the Midlands and growth is forecast to continue in the region. This is why such high levels of off-plan interest have been created at The School Yard.”

Construction at the mixed use scheme located on Harborne High Street started earlier this month, with local firm GF Tomlinson undertaking the first phase of activity which includes the refurbishment of the historical buildings to form new restaurant units and a new public square. This is programmed to complete later this summer so that fit-out can be completed and ensure that these new restaurants, which are let to Prezzo Group, Metro Continental and community cookery school Kitchen, are open in time for Christmas.

For more information or to priority register, please contact EDG Property on 0121 654 9404 or email

Developers at Harborne’s flagship mixed use scheme have appointed the main contractor to start construction of the £5.5m project. Midlands headquartered GF Tomlinson will start onsite next month and will coordinate the first phase of the construction programme at EDG Property’s The School Yard.

Enabling works are already complete at the scheme which is located on Harborne High Street, while the main construction process is split into two phases. The first phase will see the complex refurbishment of the existing buildings which were built in 1891 and originally housed Harborne Heath Road Board School. The second phase of the development is a limited number of executive apartments, which will be launched at the international property event MIPIM in March.

The plans are to create three new restaurant units at the front of the building, which will open onto the High Street. These are let to Prezzo Group, Metro Continental and community cookery school Kitchen, which will be fitted out with specially designed learning and cooking spaces. Internal fit out is scheduled to take place later this summer with the expectation that the restaurants will be trading by Christmas.

Neil Edginton, director of EDG Property, said: “At the heart of our development is a beautiful Victorian building which reflects the architectural typology and materials of the time that it was built. It is our job to bring it back into use as well as adding thoughtful contemporary new build elements so that it can again play an important role in the Harborne community.

“GF Tomlinson has won the contract because of their proven track record in sympathetically delivering complex refurbishments and for their work to listed structures.”

The appointment of GF Tomlinson completes the project team, which also includes local architects K4, M&E engineers Jonathan Richards Associates, structural engineers Curtins and acousticians JRA Acoustics.

Ivor Roberts, managing director of GF Tomlinson (Birmingham), said: “We will be using our specialist experience in working with listed and historical buildings to maximum effect on The School Yard, as well as our ability to operate within constrained sites adjacent to public highways. We know how important it is to tightly manage the construction process and to quickly and efficiently deliver on site, while maintaining the architectural vision of the project. As a Midlands business, we are extremely pleased to play our part in contributing to regenerating a local facility.”

The historical Victorian features of the Grade II listed building are being retained and restored; while the second phase of works will see the addition of a new contemporary building at the rear of the old school playground, wrapping around a central courtyard and will include the residential element of the scheme.

Following a remarkable 8 years developing The Cube in Birmingham, in December 2012 Neil Edginton’s Aruna Project LLP sold the commercial elements of The Cube to EPISO3, a fund managed by London headquartered Tristan Capital Partners.

Neil will be staying at The Cube though, despite the sale, as his EDG Property is working closely with Tristan Capital Partners to asset manage the building.

The Cube’s tenants already include the likes of Marco Pierre White, Adee Phelan, Rodizio Rico, Hotel Indigo, The Law Society, Highways Agency and theclub&spa. And, with many awards already under its belt, such as the RIBA Midlands Award, BCO 2011, ICE 2011, ISE 2011, Rose Design 2011, CIPR Pride 2011 and BCIA 2011, there’s no doubt that The Cube is an amazing addition to the Birmingham landscape.

Ben Newman of Tristan said “We’ve got some really exciting ideas for what is already a great building and are pleased to be working closely with Neil and drawing on his knowledge of the local market.”

The residential elements of The Cube have been retained by Aruna Project and Neil will continue to manage the sales of any remaining apartments.

Neil commented “The Cube has been a really interesting and challenging project and I am proud to have achieved our original ambition of creating a building that would stand tall on the architectural world stage.  I’m delighted to be staying involved with The Cube and am sure that EDG Property can continue to add value to the asset.  I look forward to working with the Tristan team and making many more exciting announcements for the City and for The Cube.”


EDG Property was established in 2010 as a Property, Development & Construction consultancy operating across the UK and working with leading financial institutions in the work out and disposal of challenging assets.

Tristan Capital Partners is an employee-owned investment management boutique specialising in public and private market real estate investment strategies across the UK and Continental Europe.

Tristan is the Portfolio Manager for Curzon Capital Partners III and for the private equity funds European Property Investors, LP , European Property Investors Special Opportunities, LP and EPISO 3 LP. Its pan-European real estate funds include core-plus and value-added/opportunistic strategies with total assets under management of €3.5 Billion. Tristan’s headquarters are in London and it has offices in Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Stockholm, Dusseldorf and Warsaw. 

Please check out the new Tristan web-app – available for download at