Jew­ellery Quar­ter ho­tel plan axed

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

HO­TEL plans for a mas­sive Jew­ellery Quar­ter devel­op­ment have been dropped. The £110 mil­lion ‘Hock­ley Mills’ project will re­de­velop four acres of land between the train sta­tion and War­stone Lane ceme­tery into a new com­plex with more than 400 apart­ments.

De­vel­oper Black­swan Prop­erty has re­vamped the scheme af­ter it was first re­vealed last sum­mer, scrap­ping a bou­tique ho­tel and re­duc­ing the num­ber of flats by 82.

The height of the com­plex has also been re­duced by four storeys.

Black­swan’s di­rec­tors Mar­cus Haw­ley and Richard White­house said they had strug­gled to find the right op­er­a­tor to run the 42-bed­room ho­tel. That space will now be used for 30,000 sq ft of of­fice space.

The project will be built on land cur­rently oc­cu­pied by auto ser­vice cen­tre Mr Tyre, at the corner of Pits­ford Street and Ick­nield Street.

This lat­est ver­sion in­cludes plans for 406 apart­ments and a new en­trance lead­ing di­rectly into the Jew­ellery Quar­ter sta­tion.

Black­swan is hop­ing to se­cure plan­ning per­mis­sion in May and start work in the first quar­ter of 2019.

The com­mer­cial el­e­ments would be done first and the over­all devel­op­ment is ex­pected to take up to five years to com­plete. Mr Haw­ley said the Jew­ellery Quar­ter wel­comed around 1.5 mil­lion vis­i­tors a year who were com­ing for the first time but he felt the dis­trict failed to cap­ture them enough so that they re­turned.

He added: “This is the largest amount of com­mer­cial space be­ing pro­vided in the Jew­ellery Quar­ter since the 1960s. But in or­der for this to work, we need to have crit­i­cal mass and cre­ate a place.

“There is no grade A re­tail space in the Jew­ellery Quar­ter and a lot of the shops are in old work­shops and that’s why you don’t have any of the big­ger names in the quar­ter like Swarovski and Pan­dora.

“The com­mer­cial space is the most ex­pen­sive part of the scheme and there’s no point build­ing it if it doesn’t work so that means con­nect­ing it to the rest of the Jew­ellery Quar­ter, pro­vid­ing ser­vices peo­ple ac­tu­ally want. We’re adding to the com­mer­cial space in the Jew­ellery Quar­ter at a time when so much is be­ing lost to res­i­den­tial con­ver­sions.”

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Artist’s im­pres­sions of the re­vamped plans for the Hock­ley Mills devel­op­ment in the Jew­ellery Quar­ter, Birm­ing­ham

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