Chinese investors secure consent for multi-million apartment scheme

Lunar Rise from High Street (Credit: Corstorphine + Wright)

Chinese investors have secured planning permission for one of the largest apartment schemes to be drafted for Birmingham.

Lunar Rise in Digbeth will comprise 517 apartments, with the development set to occupy the site of the Renault dealership at 75-80 High Street.

PGC Capital, the Shanghai-headquartered boutique investment bank, specialising in property development and private equity, said it expected to start construction mid-2018.

The development (see below) will consist of three residential blocks comprising of 263 one-bedroom, 252 two-bedroom and two three-bedroom apartments.

The modular design means much of the structure will be built off-site and then lifted into position on-site. This will allow the scheme to be completed much faster than with traditional methods.

Two of the blocks will stand 10-storeys high with the third stretching to 25 storeys, which will be located at the junction of High Street and Clyde Street.

The plans also include ground floor commercial units, parking for 153 cars and secure bike space for all residents.

The development has been designed by architects Corstorphine + Wright, with PGC Capital carrying out the role of development manager and client through the process.

The development has been christened Lunar Rise in recognition of the city’s historic Lunar Society, a group of 19th century polymaths who used to meet in Birmingham on the Monday nearest to the full moon.

Francis Cole, PGC Capital’s UK President, said: “This iconic development will be at the vanguard of Digbeth’s transformation and will establish a new 21st century look to the area.

“Birmingham City Council’s 25-year masterplan is one of the largest urban regeneration schemes in Britain and the city is leading the way with the huge redevelopment plan off the back of HS2.

“Digbeth is one of the areas set to benefit most, with new landscaped pedestrian routes through to the city centre, major transport hubs and a surge in investment. Digbeth’s strong community of creative & digital businesses, independent shops and cultural activities have a central role to play in Birmingham’s future.”

He said the plan aligned with the PGC Capital ethos, which was to develop close working partnerships with local government to create developments that met the needs of all the shareholders involved.

PGC has selected ISG as its preferred delivery partner for the flagship scheme.

Wayne Flannery, ISG’s regional director, added: “This major regeneration scheme is expected to act as the catalyst for further redevelopment in this strategic location, close to the planned HS2 hub.

“With such a busy and logistically challenging site, it’s essential that we maximise efficiencies in the build programme to minimise the impact of the development during the construction phase.

“To achieve operational efficiency, much of the structure for the three cluster buildings will utilise off-site manufactured components, which are simply lifted off delivery wagons and craned into position. This gives us the quality, safety, speed and overall efficiency to deliver this major scheme far more quickly than traditional construction methods.”

The development is PGC Capital’s second in Birmingham.

The investor is also behind the 77-apartment scheme known as Jewel Court in the Jewellery Quarter.

How Lunar Rise will look (Credit: Corstorphine + Wright)

How Lunar Rise will look (Credit: Corstorphine + Wright)

How Lunar Rise will look (Credit: Corstorphine + Wright)

How Lunar Rise will look (Credit: Corstorphine + Wright)

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