Investor seeks £70m sale of city centre offices

Baskerville House, Birmingham - home to GBSLEP

Baskerville House, the Grade II-listed office building in Birmingham city centre, is to be marketed for around £70m.

Hermes Real Estate Investment Management has engaged Knight Frank to find a buyer five years after the investor bought it for £40m.

The building, in Centenary Square next to the Library of Birmingham, has benefitted from a major refurbishment programme and its attractiveness to investors will be heightened by the ongoing transformation outside its front door.

The Hermes-backed Paradise development, including PwC’s new Midlands headquarters, is next to Baskerville House while Arena Central, which will be home to HSBC UK and HMRC, is directly opposite.

The reception area of Baskerville House

The Midland Metro network is currently being extended from Birmingham New Street up Broad Street, which will provide a tram stop yards from Baskerville House.

Hermes said it “does not comment on market speculation” but understands Hermes is now seeking to cash in its investment.

The building was responsible for the second-largest city centre office letting in 2016, when Network Rail signed up for 83,400 sq ft. Its other occupiers include the West Midlands Growth Company and Kaplan Financial.

Around 30% of the 196,000 sq ft building is currently empty, despite 18 months’ marketing of the Grade A space.

The site was originally the home of John Baskerville, the eighteenth-century printer whose innovations are now best remembered in typefaces that carry his name.

Baskerville House was completed in the 1940s and was home to departments of Birmingham City Council for more than 50 years before it fell vacant in 1998. It was listed in 2001 before a major redevelopment programme resulted in two floors being added.

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