Carlyle acquires Colmore Plaza in Birmingham for £150 million (UK)

The Carlyle Group has announced it has agreed to acquire a prime office building in central Birmingham. Colmore Plaza is a development by Abstract Land Ltd, the company set up by James Howarth and Mark Glatman in December 2004. Colmore Plaza is under construction and, on completion, will provide the highest specification offices to a market previously held back by a lack of supply.

Robert Hodges, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group said, "Colmore Plaza will offer the best office space in Birmingham, and will help to meet the increasing demand for new properties in the City and raise the profile of Birmingham as an attractive location for office users demanding modern office space meeting the highest standards of efficiency and environmental compliance. We believe Birmingham is growing in importance and attractiveness for both U.K. and international businesses. Colmore Plaza is an ambitious and exciting project, and will add to Birmingham's desirability as the city of choice outside the capital. We are delighted to be partnering with Abstract Land on this project and look forward to its delivery."

Commenting on the deal James Howarth said, "This deal further underlines Birmingham's renaissance as a city in which to do business. Colmore Plaza represents the highest specification building in any regional office market. This investment by The Carlyle Group is significant for Birmingham, further underpinning the city's status as a top international business location."

The site will continue to be developed by Abstract for The Carlyle Group and is scheduled to complete in early 2008. The property will deliver 307,000 ft² of prime high quality, Grade A office space. The building is located on a commanding island site, situated at the top of Colmore Row within the central business district.

Colmore Plaza is a ground breaking 14-story office development which will provide the largest amount of new institutional quality office space outside of London. Meeting all the environmental requirements of Part 'L2a' of the new Building Regulations, Colmore Plaza is set to become Birmingham's most sustainable and best specified building. The property will include flexible floor plates of 22,800ft² which can be subdivided for up to four tenants per floor. There will also be 115 parking spaces and 15,000 ft² of underground storage space.

Mark Glatman, Chief Executive of the Abstract Group added, "We strongly believe that Colmore Plaza will set new standards in the regional office market and we are delighted that The Carlyle Group have chosen this project for their latest investment. Occupational interest in Colmore Plaza has already been high. We have a great product in the right place at the right time."

Carlyle is investing in the Colmore Plaza project through its second European real estate fund, Carlyle Europe Real Estate Partners II, a €760 million fund. The fund closed in September 2005 and is over 50% invested.

Carlyle was advised by Cushman and Wakefield and Herbert Smith. Abstract was represented by the Birmingham office of Knight Frank and Macfarlanes.

Source: Carlyle

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