Crane Survey gives Birmingham a lift (UK)

Development in UK second city Birmingham is booming with the skyline boasting the highest number of cranes since the turn of the Millennium, according to the latest research by international property consultants Drivers Jonas.

The firm's 2007 annual Crane Survey found there were currently 21 cranes across 18 development sites around the city center, the highest number since the firm began its yearly research in 2001.

Gary Cardin, Head of Drivers Jonas' Birmingham office, said, "The last couple of years has been steady for Birmingham's development sector with an anticipation of significant growth and that is now reflected in this year's Crane Survey.

"While the residential sector has been constantly active, the commercial development sector has been undoubtedly sluggish in the past couple of years. However, the fact that cranes are now operational over a number of key projects is extremely good news for Birmingham and its continuing drive to attract blue chip occupiers to the city."

The cranes on development sites are broken down into eight on office schemes, two in the education and health sectors and 11 residential.

There are no cranes currently operating on any purely retail or leisure developments.

Last year Colmore Plaza, being developed by Abstract Land for the Carlyle Group, stood alone as the only purely commercial development fully under way in the city. There are now seven commercial schemes under construction within Birmingham's recognized office core offering more than 74,320 m² of office space to the Birmingham market over the next couple of years.

The majority of this space, 73,484 m², will come from four key commercial developments in Snow Hill, Colmore Plaza, 45 Church Street and Eleven Brindleyplace while smaller mixed-use developments at Derwent Foundry, Ansty Court and St Paul's Place will bring 3,344 m² to the market on a 'for sale' basis.

Philippa Pickavance, head of Agency at Drivers Jonas' Birmingham office, said, "Developers are now pushing schemes on with renewed confidence as the demand for Grade A stock continues along with an increase in headline rents.

"The increased number of commercial developments will go some way to satisfying this demand but it is crucial that work begins on some of the other proposed schemes such as Masshouse, Eastside, The Cube and Arena Central if the city is going to fulfill its true potential."

Source: Drivers Jonas

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