Arden Cross in the Midlands
Arden Cross is a global destination for innovation, business, learning and living, across more than 140 hectares in Solihull in the West Midlands.
Arden Cross is a £3.2 billion mixed-use scheme. It will support up to 27,000 new jobs, 6 million square feet of employment space, 3,000 homes and new infrastructure.
It’s seeking a creative and empathetic investment and development partner with strong placemaking credentials.
Solihull, West Midlands
Arden Cross Limited
Over £3 billion GDV
Time to Final Investment Decision (FID):
Sector and market opportunity
With the ability to boost the economy by more than £1 billion a year, Arden Cross is a once in a generation chance to create a globally recognised destination in the heart of the UK. The scheme consists of a residential community, an innovation district and a transportation plaza.
The site will create a new place for work, home and leisure, all wrapped around the new HS2 Interchange station. The station recently became the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification at the design stage – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings.
This £3.2 billion mixed use scheme is seeking to bring on board an experienced, empathetic and creative key investment and development partner. They should be able to build on the investment to date and maximise the masterplan potential to create an exceptional new UK destination.
A call for bids is expected in late 2021 and investors should speak with the Department for International Trade beforehand to communicate their interest.
Arden Cross has unrivalled and unique connectivity. It’s located near Birmingham, in a region of more than 5.5 million people.
Its location in the heart of the country means it has unparalleled access to markets and people, and is close to some of the world’s finest universities.
Arden Cross has connectivity across the world. Nearby is Birmingham International Airport, with 150 global connections. The airport directly connects to Arden Cross via a new HS2 people-mover route - an automated light rail system that also connects to Birmingham International Station.
The development is wrapped around the new HS2 Interchange station, which connects to Central London in just 38 minutes and every major English regional city in less than an hour. HS2 will also connect it to London Heathrow, the world’s busiest international hub, in a short journey.
Plans are in place to transform Birmingham International Station, which sits on one of the UK’s key rail corridors connecting London and Glasgow, to create a new multi-modal transport facility.
Meanwhile, major enhancements and upgrades are being delivered across the nearby highways network to further improve connectivity.
There are also local transport connections to the rich talent bases in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, with their flourishing universities and start-up ecosystems.
Local talent and skills
Solihull has one of the most dynamic and fastest growing labour markets in the UK, with a job density 22% higher than the Great Britain average.
The area has a well-balanced labour market, with notable sector strengths in automotive manufacturing and a range of business and professional services.
Skill levels are also high, with one in four working age adults having the equivalent of a degree level qualification and more than half working in higher skilled managerial or professional occupations.
Over the past 5 years Birmingham has seen significant regeneration within the city centre. This has drawn many global firms to the area, including HSBC with a new retail HQ, and PwC.
Research and expertise
JLL will be leading the research and formally bringing this opportunity to the market.
The Midlands is home to the largest number of medical technology and device companies in the country. The region is ideally placed for the distribution of manufactured goods, reaching 92% of the UK population within 4 hours. Birmingham is at the heart of one of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects, HS2, and is set to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) highlights
The HS2 Interchange station became the first railway station to achieve the BREEAM outstanding certification at the design stage.
This measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings puts it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendliness.
Promoters and partnerships
The development will be delivered by Arden Cross Ltd, a special purpose delivery vehicle created by landowners Birmingham City Council, Coleshill Estate and the Packington Estate. All the landowners are committed to a shared vision of building a world class, smart and connected destination at the heart of the Midlands.
Arden Cross Ltd continue to work in partnership with Solihull Council, The Urban Growth Company, the West Midlands Combined Authority, High Speed 2 (HS2) Ltd, Department for Transport and National Highways (formerly Highways England).
Significant investment commitment from stakeholders with over £800 million of investment in the HS2 Interchange station, Arden Cross enabling works and surrounding infrastructure.
That work is being led and coordinated by Solihull Council’s Urban Growth Company.
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