Birmingham City Council has approved the plans for 2 Arena Central, the building selected by HSBC for the head office of its UK ring-fenced bank serving personal and business customers.
This confirmation follows the announcement earlier this month that HSBC and Arena Central Developments Limited (ACDL) had completed the forward purchase of the 210,000 sq ft 2 Arena Central, marking the largest property deal to take place in Birmingham since 2002.
Situated between the existing Alpha Tower and Municipal Bank on Broad Street and overlooking Centenary Square, 2 Arena Central occupies a prominent position within the City Centre Enterprise Zone. The building will offer 190,790 sq ft of prime Grade A office space tailored specifically to meet HSBC’s requirements, with a further 13,450 sq ft of retail or restaurant space on the ground floor.
Designed by renowned architects Make, the building has the capacity to accommodate up to 2,500 people and will be the first in Birmingham to be constructed to LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) Gold accreditation.
Site clearance work is already underway, with construction of 2 Arena Central due to start in the summer, and the building ready to be handed over to HSBC in mid-2017 for occupation in early 2018.
Arena Central is being delivered by ACDL, a joint venture between Miller Developments and Pro Vinci Asset Management.
Jonathan Wallis, ACDL, said: “Receiving this consent brings us one step closer to the delivery of an exceedingly significant addition to Birmingham’s commercial landscape, supporting the city’s growing reputation as a leading centre for professional and financial services occupiers.
“The completion of the deal to HSBC, combined with the City Council’s confirmation of the planning gives us the confidence to begin developing the public realm alongside this signature building. Throughout the construction period, we will continue to work closely with HSBC to ensure the creation of a bespoke and truly first-class commercial environment.”
2 Arena Central has been designed with a distinctive façade, featuring woven patterns of cladding that subtly transform as they wrap around the building, presenting a calm, elegant façade to Centenary Square and a softer, rippling pattern facing onto the heart of Arena Central.
Frances Gannon, lead architect at Make, said: “The planning committee’s support to bring forward this building for HSBC is a significant economic boost for Birmingham that unlocks a key regeneration site in the centre of the city. We are proud to design for such a prestigious civic site, between two great listed buildings and opposite the fantastic Library of Birmingham.”
Arena Central is bordered by Broad Street, Bridge Street, Holliday Street and Suffolk Street Queensway and is adjacent to Centenary Square, one of Birmingham’s most high-profile public spaces, which is due to undergo a comprehensive £8 million refurbishment.
The development will include brand new public realm at its heart which has been designed by landscape architects, Gillespies. Running from north to south, it features over 50 per cent soft landscaping, creating a unique city centre environment.
The extension to the Midland Metro tram, work on which is already underway, will include a stop on Broad Street, directly adjacent to the Arena Central site, further enhancing the site’s connectivity to the rest of the city.
Arena Central benefits from simplified planning and reduced business rates and forms a significant part of the city’s vision for regeneration, as laid out in the Big City Plan.