Hammerson has been granted planning consent for the repurposing of a former department store in Birmingham into 18,581 m2 of modern wellbeing-designed offices.
Work on the transformation will begin later this year, with the potential for completion in 2025.
The Drum project, part of the UK REIT’s Birmingham Estate, aims to incorporate the highest levels of amenity and connectivity, while complementing the existing food and social hub in Grand Central and the retail and entertainment brands Bullring has to offer.
A key design feature by Make Architects is the extension of the existing atrium through all four floors to create a sweeping, open, communal entrance that widens as it rises, while also leading to a newly created rooftop garden lounge.
Green walls on each level will give the appearance of the garden spilling back down through the building.
Harry Badham, chief development and asset repositioning officer at Hammerson, said: ‘We welcome Birmingham City Council’s approval of our plans, with the decision a significant boost to Birmingham’s reputation as a city for business, one that is progressive, dynamic and setting the benchmark for others to follow across the UK. Drum is a great demonstration of how Hammerson’s creativity and a deep understanding of occupier needs can create assets that thrive by diversifying their purpose to accommodate an even greater range of uses and users.’
The ground floor repurposing will deliver 3,716 m2 of combined hospitality space with restaurant, bar and food market, alongside a premium grocery offer, gym, wellbeing amenities and flexible events space.
The workspace will accommodate up to 2,000 people, offering excellent train and tram connections, as well as benefitting from excellent cycle and pedestrian access.
Hammerson and Make are targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating, an EPC rating of A, a Well Standard for occupier wellbeing of Gold and Wired Scored Platinum, creating a 2030 LETI Band A compliant development.
Key stakeholders in the project include Network Rail, Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Combined Authority.