Hammerson has been granted planning consent to bring to life ‘Drum’, the repurposing of the former department store at Grand Central, part of its Birmingham Estate, into 200,000ft² of modern wellbeing-designed offices. This consent represents the next step in Hammerson’s vision to enhance its Birmingham Estate and create a truly multi-use destination by leveraging the strength of Bullring & Grand Central to further capitalise and drive value for stakeholders, the local economy and the city as a whole.
Drum reimagines the former retail space creating a new paradigm of city centre workplace. Incorporating the best levels of amenity and connectivity, all complementing the existing food and social hub in Grand Central and the retail and entertainment brands Bullring has to offer. Planning consent enables Hammerson to continue the process of working with other stakeholders and begin marketing with the aim of commencing the development.
As Europe’s youngest city with one of the fastest growing economies in the UK, Birmingham is a hotbed of innovation and creativity which Drum is well positioned to capture being at the epicentre of the transport infrastructure and at the main gateway to the city centre. Industries with strong clusters in the West Midlands include technology, gaming, financial and professional services, transport, education and medtech, and all are targets for the space at Drum given its versatility and connectivity.
A key design feature by Make Architects is the extension of the existing atrium through all four floors of the building to create a sweeping, open, communal entrance that widens as it rises, providing visual connectivity between the floors and drawing daylight down through the heart of the space. It will also lead to a newly created rooftop garden lounge. Green walls on each level will give the appearance of the garden spilling back down through the building.
Drum’s ground floor will be repurposed to deliver a rich amenity offer that supports tenants and enhances the experience for workers and visitors. The 40,000ft² space will add to the existing food and hospitality offer in Grand Central, featuring a combined hospitality space with restaurant, bar and food market, alongside the provision for a premium grocery offer, gym, wellbeing amenities and flexible events space.
Sustainability is central to the design, with Hammerson and Make targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating, an EPC rating of A, a Well Standard for occupier wellbeing of Gold, and Wired Scored Platinum, creating a 2030 LETI Band A compliant development. By repurposing rather than developing a new building, the equivalent of 14,000 tonnes of CO2will be saved.
Harry Badham, Chief Development and Asset Repositioning Officer at Hammerson, said: “We welcome Birmingham City Council’s approval of our plans, with the decision a significant boost to Birmingham’s reputation as a city for business, one that is progressive, dynamic and setting the benchmark for others to follow across the UK. Drum is a great demonstration of how Hammerson’s creativity and a deep understanding of occupier needs can create assets that thrive by diversifying their purpose to accommodate an even greater range of uses and users.”