Birmingham Cube finally completed

Posted on by John Cronin

The chequered construction history of a new Birmingham building has finally drawn to a close as the contractors complete the build.

The CubeThe Cube is a 23 storey, mixed-use scheme in the centre of Birmingham. Construction work on the £100m scheme has just finished and the building now completes the final phase of Birmingham’s successful Mailbox development.

The main backers of the project, Birmingham Development Company and Build Ability Ltd both went into administration earlier this year. With the project almost 80% complete, administrators managed to arrange a new funding package to keep the project on track and ensure completion.

Construction work on the build has stop-started due not only to the financial difficulties of the backers; some workers had to down-tools for 3 weeks while a Canada goose nested in the building and waited for her newly laid eggs to hatch.

The Cube was designed by architect Ken Shuttleworth who is renowned for the London “gherkin”. He described his Cube creation as an “enchanting jewellery box”, but others have not been quite so complimentary about the new building that is visible from many parts of the city. Whilst the developers were sympathetic to superstition by not having a floor numbered 13, they could not avoid having 666 glass panels in the roof of the building. The building is also receiving press attention for its unique, German designed, robotic car parking system, allowing cars to be parked automatically.

The building affords Grade A office floor space totalling some 111,500 sq ft. The offices in the building, which are spread over 5 floors are expected to receive a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, and has also achieved an EPC rating of B. Suites with floor plates between 10,000 to 52,000 sq ft are available and are being marketed by agents DTZ. Rental prices are available upon application. The Birmingham Office Market Forum (website) research reports published earlier this year indicates headline rents on prime office space in Birmingham are in a range of £23.00- £28.00 psf. As offices within The Cube are being promoted as state-of-the-art, rental prices are expected to be at the top-end of the market.

The Highways Agency are a significant tenant within the building after relocating from Broadway Plaza at nearby Five Ways. Starting the relocation in May of this year, the move was completed on 13th September. The Highways Agency has let some 55,939 sq ft of the floor space. When announced this relocation drew criticism from various quarters including the Tax Payers Alliance. Grahame Dalton, chief executive of the Highways Agency defended the move by saying:

“It is increasingly important that as a Government agency we work in modern, high quality, sustainable office space which supports our people and provides them with the best tools for the job. We need space that allows people to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. With this in mind, The Cube offers us ideal accommodation for high performing teams at a competitive price.”

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