Microsoft subsidiary looks to expand in Birmingham

A SUBSIDIARY of Microsoft is looking to expand its operations in Birmingham, has learned.

Rare Games, which developed the motion-sensitive technology called Kinect for the Xbox console, already has a base in Fazeley Studios in Digbeth, but is understood to be looking for between 40,000 and 50,000 sq ft of extra space in ‘an iconic location’ in Birmingham city centre.

Microsoft executives have narrowed down the shortlist of potential properties to four, including Baskerville House on Broad Street and The Cube, near the Mailbox.

Between 300 and 400 staff could be accommodated on a floorplate of around 40,000 sq ft.

A source close to the deal said: “Being Microsoft, they are looking for a suitably impressive, even iconic location, and fortunately Birmingham has a number of choices to go at the moment.”

The Birmingham office of real estate advisors Jones Lang LaSalle has been instructed by the US tech giant.

A spokeswoman said: “Jones Lang LaSalle is advising Rare Games, a subsidiary of Microsoft.

“Rare Games is looking to expand their presence in Birmingham, by up to around 40,000 sq ft, and a number of buildings have been reviewed.”

Microsoft Rare GamesAttracting Microsoft to the Fazeley development last year was seen as a significant coup for Birmingham, but securing its further expansion will be seen as a major step forward for the city. It is expected that Rare will retain the Fazeley Studio base.

Following the collapse of developers Birmingham Development Company and Targetfollow last year, both The Cube and Baskerville House are owned by Lloyds Banking Group.