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Confidence in city as Johnson Fellows seals trio of deals

Charles Warrack of Johnson Fellows

A property consultancy in Birmingham is looking forward to a busy office market in 2019 after celebrating completing a number of deals.

Johnson Fellows is anticipating a strong year for the Birmingham office market, as the HS2 project progresses, the Paradise and 3 Snow Hill office developments move closer to completion, major office buildings change hands and several major residential developments get underway.

The central Birmingham office market lettings and sales take up for 2018 was just short of 755,000 sq ft – another good year and slightly exceeding the 10-year average, demonstrating a strong market.

Charles Warrack, Office Agency Partner at the chartered surveyors in Newhall Street, predicts another strong year for the city. He said the company had enjoyed a buoyant year as the entrepreneurial and dynamic city continued to attract significant investment.

Deals completed by Johnson Fellows include an office block, with planning consent for conversion into 34 apartments, changing hands in a circa £1.15 million deal. The 12,000 sq ft office building at Stockfield Road, Acocks Green, has been acquired by a local private investor.

Charles said the company’s in-house expertise had been utilised to add significant value to the property by gaining planning consent under Permitted Development Rights and additional outline planning permission. “Working with our in-house building consultancy team and architectural technicians, we gained planning approval for a scheme which will deliver 34 new apartments, with an extra storey on top of the existing property,” he said.

One week was all it took for a vacant office building in Birmingham to be snapped up by an ambitious care company in a circa £800,000 deal.

Homecare4u acquired the 3,700 sq ft, four storey building in Newhall Street in Birmingham city centre from property company Kirkstyle Developments. The office building was marketed by Johnson Fellows and Nottingham-based joint agents NG Chartered Surveyors.

Charles said: “This must be one of the fastest sales in Birmingham city centre for quite some time. We had seven interested parties view the property in a matter of days and received an offer from Homecare4u before the end of the first week.

“It clearly demonstrates the appeal of Birmingham as a place in which to do business and there is no shortage of companies that are keen to invest in office space if it’s good quality and in the right location. This property ticks all of those boxes.”

Meanwhile, further afield, a disused magistrates court has been snapped up in a circa £1.45 million deal by a Midlands building society, which, with the assistance of Johnson Fellows is now converting it into an impressive new headquarters.

Hinckley and Rugby Building Society has acquired Hinckley Magistrates Court, on Upper Bond Street on the edge of the town centre, which is opposite its existing head office. It offers 20,000 sq ft of space on a 0.6-acre site. The two-storey building was constructed in 2002 and has 28 parking spaces.

Johnson Fellows is working on office acquisition mandates for a number clients who have identified the need for additional office space to be acquired.  This is further to acquisition successes last year where Johnson Fellows acquired 10,000 sq ft for IT firm Wavenet at Blythe Valley Park and 8,500 sq ft for facilities manager Ian Williams at Aqueous One in Aston.