Hotel plan revealed for Birmingham city centre landmark

A landmark red-brick building in Birmingham city centre is set for a £35m makeover as a new apart-hotel.

Property investor Ciel Capital, which has now acquired the freehold to the property, is planning to convert the former Methodist Central Hall in Corporation Street – so typical of the city’s red-brick architectural style – into a circa 160-bed hotel with associated restaurants, bars and ground floor retail.

There will also be circa 60 apart-hotel rooms, which will be branded as Stow-Away and operated by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality.

The Grade II*-listed building, which dates back to 1904, features a distinctive tower. It is opposite the imposing Victoria Law Courts and forms part of the Steelhouse Conservation Area.

The building, originally designed by architects Ewan Harper and James A Harper, was acquired in a deal which completed early last year.

That deal saw Monopro, a private family investment company, acquire the leasehold interest in the ground floor and basement of the shops, offices plus the former meeting hall.

The hall forms part of a distinctive row of buildings along Corporation Street which all feature terracotta originally produced by Gibbs and Canning of Tamworth. The tiling is also used on the interior of the Victoria Law Courts and the Natural History Museum in London.

Its main hall originally accommodated 2,000 people and had more than 30 other rooms including three school halls. It was originally at a cost of £96,165.

In 1991, the Methodist church underwent conversion to a nightclub, however, since it ceased to be used for such a purpose it has remained empty and has fallen into disrepair.

Its conversion would be a welcome addition to the city’s hospitality sector and act as a further stimulus to the regeneration of a somewhat neglected part of the centre.

Vedrana Bilanovic Riley, CEO at Ciel Capital, said: “The project team has been working hard over the past few months to develop a scheme which is sensitive to the site’s unique history and architectural features, all the while delivering an exciting proposal which will provide a landmark new hotel for visitors to Birmingham, plus retail and leisure options for local residents and increasing footfall to local businesses.”