Green light for major renovation of Birmingham’s House of Fraser building

Birmingham planning chiefs have backed the redevelopment of one of its most famous buildings.

The House of Fraser site in Corporation Street will be transformed into nine floors of offices and space for retailers, bars, restaurants and other leisure uses on the ground and lower ground floors.

It will be crowned by a rooftop terrace with a bar and restaurant overlooking the cathedral while a new full-height atrium will provide a meeting point for workers and visitors.

There will also be a new boutique hotel at the corner of Cherry Street and Temple Row.

Legal & General’s property arm acquired the building in late 2014 followed by the adjoining 43 Temple Row later in 2015 which will house the new hotel.

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The company first unveiled its plans for the two buildings a year ago, a few months after House of Fraser fell into administration in summer 2018.

House of Fraser continues to trade from the site but it is not clear at this stage how much longer it will be open there or whether it will be a tenant in the redeveloped building when it reopens.

The refurbishment, designed by architecture practice TP Bennett, will retain many of the building’s original features.

Simon Wilkes, head of business space development with Legal & General’s real estate arm, said: “Approval of this innovative reimagination of such a prominent and renowned building is to be greatly welcomed by the city.

“The plans are very sensitive to its location overlooking Birmingham Cathedral and the square while meeting the growing demand for high-quality office space and creating a new cluster of modern food, drink, retail and leisure facilities in the city’s core.

“We are absolutely thrilled about the outcome and hope to be able to start preparatory work as soon as possible.”

43 Temple Row will be converted into a new hotel
43 Temple Row will be converted into a new hotel
(Image: Google Street View)

Chris Wieszczycki, principal director at TP Bennett in London, added: “Our design seeks to take advantage of its central location while responding to changing patterns in contemporary retailing and strong demand for office accommodation.

“We are very pleased that the committee understood our commitment to a scheme of the highest quality that will revitalise this heritage site in the centre of Birmingham.”

Turley is the planning consultant for this scheme, alongside providing economics and heritage and townscape services.

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