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Doing Rather Well - BLOC Heads Birmingham City Redevelopment

09th September 2016

Council officials have unanimously approved plans for the 25-storey BLOC Grand Central, designed by architects Glenn Howells and entirely funded by private investors.

Its construction will help realise Birmingham City Council’s vision of making the Southside district a vibrant and attractive destination for visitors.

Councillor Tahir Ali, the Cabinet Member for Development, Transport and the Economy, said: “The whole area cries out for redevelopment and I think this will act as a catalyst.”

The building is just 50 paces from the iconic Spanish Steps entrance to New Street Station, John Lewis and the Grand Central shopping precinct. BLOC’s flagship 238-room hotel will be built on a site currently occupied by a largely vacant 1960s office block. It will create 40 full-time jobs in the area and support scores more ancillary workers.

The Southside development at 32-34 Hill Street is part of an ongoing multi-million pound investment by the hotel chain in Birmingham city centre.

BLOC’s designer hotels in Gatwick Airport and Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter have already proved a hit with business and leisure travellers.

BLOC are also set to launch their new ‘apart-rooms’ for longer stays. Apartment BLOC launches soon at their hotel in the Jewellery Quarter.

Rob Morgan, MD of BLOC Hotels, said: “We’re really excited that planning permission for the new BLOC Grand Central has been approved.

“This is a defining movement in the company’s ambitious growth strategy. Our first hotel was in Birmingham and we want to continue to invest in the city that the brand was born in.”

Glenn Howells, of Glenn Howells Architects, said: “We are pleased to be working with fellow Birmingham based company BLOC Hotels on a bespoke building for the heart of the city.

“The building is situated at an important gateway site within Birmingham City Centre and offers the opportunity to define a benchmark for the future regeneration of this part of the city.”

The Council’s Planning Committee Report praised the development: “The scheme is of the highest quality in terms of architectural form, detail and material. In particular, the facade and top of the building are well considered.

“Moreover, the double height entrance lobby and cafe restaurant would enliven the base of the building and be an attractive destination.”

Picture: BLOC Hotels Grand Central

Article written by Cathryn Ellis – published 09th September 2016


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