Construction firm Thomas Vale has been selected by Birmingham City Council in the UK as its joint venture partner for Birmingham Science Park’s £35m Digital Plaza development.
Thomas Vale has been selected over Bruntwood and a TreborDevelopments/Hortons Estate consortium, which were shortlisted, along with Thomas Vale, from the 80 firms that participated in the competition.
The Digital Plaza project will involve the eventual construction of four buildings on a development plot in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Enterprise Zone, which will serve as high-tech incubation centres to drive innovative businesses in the area.
The first building, called iCentrumTM, will become the first speculative office development in Birmingham for four years.
Construction of the iCentrumTM building is estimated to cost of £7.5m and will take a year to complete.
The Science Park’s Faraday Wharf building, which was completed in 2001, will be upgraded and linked to iCentrumTM through a first floor bridge.
Birmingham Science Park CEO David Hardman said: "As the economy continues the slow climb out of recession, it is tremendous news that Thomas Vale Construction’s proposals will enable us to deliver the first Digital Plaza building speculatively, while also linking with – and investing into an upgrade of – our flagship Faraday Wharf building."
A detailed planning application for the 30,000ft² iCentrum building, together with an outline application for the rest of the 120,000ft² development, will be submitted by the end of summer 2012.
Work will start on site before the end of 2012, subject to planning approval.
The development will be financed through a special purpose vehicle, which will secure the funding for the first building while subsequent buildings are likely to be built-out on a pre-let basis.
Digital Plaza’s four buildings will have a total gross area of over 100,000ft².
Image: iCentrumTM will be the first speculative office development in Birmingham for four years. Photo: Birmingham Science Park.