‘Eyesore’ Great Charles Street car park site sold at last
An ‘eyesore’ car park site in central Birmingham has finally been sold by the city council more than 20 years after attempts were first made to market the land.
The council will pocket a substantial sum of money for the Great Charles Street car park on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter which runs alongside the A38 and has been derelict for decades.
The land, once earmarked for a new coach station and offices, will be sold mainly for residential development.
Interest in the site has been rekindled by the nearby £500 million Paradise development which will see Grade A offices, bars and restaurants built around the Council House and Paradise Forum.
The council says the sale of the car park will kick-start what’s being called the Great Charles Street Place scheme incorporating redevelopment around Snow Hill railway station, although the downside will be the loss of £375,000 a year from car park income.
A report to today’s council cabinet meeting noted:
This is an important regeneration site within the masterplan’s boundary with the potential to deliver a high quality built environment on a key route between the Jewellery Quarter and the city core.
The development of the site assists in the delivery of a key objective of the Big City Plan to transform the pedestrian links between St Pauls Church and St Phillips Cathedral.
The council believed it had sold the site three years ago for office and residential development.
But the developer pulled out following the economic downturn and lack of occupier interest.
The council said the developer now wanted to bring the scheme forward because the Paradise Circus redevelopment and Arena Central had improved the appeal of the site to prospective tenants.
The cabinet report states:
Steps have been taken to strengthen the terms in the development lease such that the developer is incentivised to bring forward development quickly.
The proposed scheme will comprise two phases of new apartments, serviced apartments and a hotel.
Council leader John Clancy said car parking and advertising lettings income would continue to be collected by the council until the sale of the site is completed. He added that care would be taken to make sure the design of the new residential accommodation was of a high enough standard to sit alongside a main thoroughfare through the city centre.
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