Major occupier in talks for space at city’s newest landmark

Negotiations are taking place for two floors of 2 Chamberlain Square with an unnamed occupier, has learned.

The topping-out at 2 Chamberlain Square, Paradise, reflected in the windows of 1 Chamberlain Square

The second building in the £700m Paradise development, which is being speculatively developed, held its topping-out ceremony to mark the completion of the structure on Friday.

The eight storey, 183,000 sq ft building has typical floor plates of 24,000 sq ft.

Potential occupiers of the ground floor retail and leisure units at Chamberlain Square are also understood to be close to signing leases. London wine bar operator Vinoteca is expected to be among the first to be confirmed and open its doors later this year.

Rob Groves, regional director at Argent, said: “This topping out is a huge moment for both Paradise and Birmingham. We have achieved so many milestones over the past 10 years, but this one feels extra special and reflects the huge momentum behind this incredibly significant scheme.”

The office space in the first building, 1 Chamberlain Square, has been let by PwC, and the professional services firm is now expected to receive the keys in September.

The development was delayed by the collapse of Carillion in January 2018, just weeks after that building’s topping-out ceremony, which kept workers off the site for 12 weeks.

The construction giant’s failure had a more limited impact on the development of 2 Chamberlain Square as it was only involved in creating the podium, and off-site infrastructure works.

The Birmingham skyline viewed from 2 Chamberlain Square, with 3 Snowhill under construction to the left of the Council House

Construction firm BAM has built number two and also took over on number one after Carillion’s unexpected liquidation.

Groves added: “Rising above the challenges of the liquidation of Carillion at the beginning of 2018, the scheme continues at pace with both of our first buildings advancing.”

However the first phase of the Paradise development has faced funding difficulties and earlier this month an extra £51.2m of public funding was confirmed.

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I’m immensely proud to be part of this topping out ceremony for what is already a superb new building in one of the UK’s foremost city centre developments.”

BAM Construction’s David Ellis speaking at the topping-out ceremony at 2 Chamberlain Square

The Paradise development is being delivered by Argent and Hermes, woring alongside the city council and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. The scheme is designed to deliver 1.8m sq ft of space in three phases in a decade-long project.

Work on phase 2 is expected to begin on site shortly, with 280,000 sq ft One Centenary Way – which is between Centenary Square and 2 Chamberlain Square – the next building to be developed.

That should be followed by a 22-storey hotel, and when that is completed the existing Copthorne Hotel can then be demolished.