BOMF: Enterprise Zone is key to city’s office future
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Birmingham's Enterprise Zone and key regeneration projects are the best opportunity to ensure that the city has sufficient high quality stock to meet demand, believes the Birmingham Office Market Forum (BOMF).
The announcement was made at the organisation's annual networking breakfast at Opus Restaurant - which brings together some of the key business and property players from across Birmingham - during a presentation by key speakers Gary Taylor and Glenn Howells, who are working together on the redevelopment of Paradise Circus.
"Our main concern is that this stock may not be replenished quickly enough to meet demand from inward investment or attract large corporates,” said Jan Thompson, head of Jones Lang LaSalle's Birmingham office and BOMF chairman. "We are therefore looking at what opportunities are available to us as a city and firmly believe that the Enterprise Zone will be a key driver in ensuring that suitable stock is available."
Defined last year by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Birmingham's Enterprise Zone includes 26 sites across the city centre, grouped into seven clusters, including those identified in Birmingham's Big City Plan.
These include Westside, Snow Hill District, Eastside, the Southern Gateway, Digbeth Creative Cluster, Birmingham Science Park Aston and the Jewellery Quarter.
Gary Taylor, founding member of Altitude Real Estate, said, "The Enterprise Zone will play a vital role in 'funding the unfundable', the essential infrastructure costs that can prevent schemes from being viable."
During the presentation, Glenn Howells outlined his views on how new challenges for occupiers would shape future workspaces. He said, "The office of the future will have to accommodate an increasingly mobile business environment that requires a more flexible, low-carbon office space. More progressive occupiers are challenging current industry standards and are looking for something different."
For more information, see the Enterprise Zone pages on Birmingham City Council’s Big City Plan website.