Flagship office building acquired in £100m deal

55 Colmore Row
X The Business Desk

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A newly-refurbished office building in the heart of Birmingham’s business district has been sold in a deal worth almost £100m.

TH Real Estate has acquired 55 Colmore Row on behalf of its European Cities Fund for c.£98m.

The Grade A office building, the former home of Wragge & Co, was acquired by IM Properties (IMP) shortly after the law firm’s relocation to Snowhill.

IMP then completed a £35m transformation of the building, which totals 14,378 sq m (157,562 sq ft) across seven floors. The property also includes the new Gaucho restaurant plus 64 car parking spaces and 57 cycle spaces.

Regarded as one of the best office buildings in Birmingham, the build now boasts many high profile clients including Pinsent Masons, Savills and RICS. The refurbishment was awarded BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating in 2017.

John Hammond, investment director IM Properties, added: “55 Colmore Row is about as prime as you get in Birmingham, in the heart of the business district and right at the centre of a major renaissance, with Colmore Row attracting many high end operators to the area.

“The redevelopment of the building was a real labour of love and we poured much of the company’s heart and soul into it, often going above and beyond what most developers would do. Our ambition was always to create a best in class asset and that’s exactly what we achieved.

“The acquisition is obviously a great way to start 2018 for IM Properties but also Birmingham, as it really sets the tone for the city going forward into the new year, demonstrating its tremendous growth potential now and in the future.”

Abigail Dean, Head of Sustainability at TH Real Estate, said: “Sustainability is core to the European Cities Fund strategy because investing in future proof buildings, in resilient locations can help protect future returns. The acquisition of this BREEAM ‘Excellent’, energy efficient building further boosts the sustainability profile of the Fund and will also contribute towards the achievement of TH Real Estate’s target to reduce energy intensity by 30% by 2030.”

Andrew Rich, Fund Manager for the European Cities Fund at TH Real Estate, added: “Birmingham has benefitted from substantial regeneration and inward investment of roughly £1bn in recent years, raising the city’s business profile and attracting global companies. Given the attractiveness of the building, the low vacancy rates for Grade A office stock and limited supply within the city, we believe this asset should deliver excellent returns for the Fund.”

TH Real Estate’s European Cities Fund recently announced the acquisitions of Enox Retail Park, Paris and The Warehouse, an office property in Amsterdam, making 55 Colmore Row the seventh standing asset in the Fund.

The deal is a further example of the current strength of the Birmingham office market, which has been buoyed by the arrival of HS2 Ltd in the city as well as new developments such as Paradise and Arena Central.