Plans to transform the four-acre industrial site in the Jewellery Quarter into a major residential-led, mixed-use scheme have been given the go-ahead by Birmingham City Council
Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, the £125m scheme, which is bounded by will comprise 305 apartments, including lofts and duplexes and around 100,000 sq ft of commercial space, including affordable business and retail space, as well as new public realm.
A new pedestrian street will stretch from Newhall Street into the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, improving access from the city centre.
Northwood Street, currently partially closed to the public, will be opened to pedestrians for the first time in more than 20 years. A new public square will be incorporated, in the centre of the scheme, surrounded by commercial and leisure space.
As part of the developers’ plans, two Grade II listed buildings will be restored. 109 Northwood Street, built in 1882 for military ornament makers Brent and Parker and 199 Newhall Street, a neo-Georgian factory built in the early 20th century, will be repurposed to provide much needed new workspace in the district.
A further two derelict buildings – 123 and 128 Northwood Street – will also be redeveloped into new homes. Although not listed, the joint venture team consider them architecturally significant.
Care has also been taken to respect buildings flanking the site. The previously hidden Grade II listed building on Regent Place, for example, will be exposed and visible from the new pedestrian street called Harpers Hill.
Stephen Conway, executive chairman of Galliard Homes, said: “The Jewellery Quarter’s historic buildings give the area its special character.
“123 and 128 Northwood Street have a familiar typology to the Jewellery Quarter, with street frontages concealing rear factory wings. These two buildings reinforce the grain of the area, running north-south. It’s therefore right that we respect their heritage and preserve them, despite their lack of listed status.”
The new buildings at the site have been designed to be sympathetic to the historic area. These include an Art Deco-inspired façade and elegant dark brick and crafted metal marker building at Newhall street, to house a co-working operation.
The Cornerstone, at the heart of the scheme, includes terracotta elements, as does the red brick building on Regency Place, with both providing homes above active ground uses, including shops and businesses.
Robin Norstrom, director at Apsley House Capital, added: “This development will be the largest within the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area. We have invested more than two years in bringing this highly anticipated scheme forward, working with the local community and with the city’s planning officers to create a new gateway to the Jewellery Quarter and an animated hub – not only a place to live and work but also a destination in itself.”
Dav Bansal, director at Glenn Howells Architects, added: “The approach has been to carefully restore some existing fabric alongside a new composition of modern buildings which share a considered palette of materials, detailing and proportions.”
More than 500 jobs are expected to be created at the scheme, including construction posts and jobs in retail and office sectors. The development is anticipated to take four years to complete.