February 2017 news archive


Owners of Mell Square shopping Centre, IM Properties, have stepped forward to help fund Solihull Shopmobility for 12 months.

The charity is reliant on donations to help with the maintenance, operation and renewal of its fleet of electric scooters and wheelchairs.  These enable people with disabilities and mobility impairments to access the goods and services available in Solihull Town Centre.

Cathy Stoll, chair of the charity, said:

“We are very pleased and grateful to IM Properties for its very generous donation of £5000 and recognising the value of the service that the charity offers.

“Mell Square Shopping Centre was instrumental, together with Solihull MBC and the charity in setting up the service originally in the 1980’s. After the withdrawal of funding we have been dependent on our partnership with Touchwood and other key stakeholders in Solihull such as Mell Square to maintain this important community service. Thankfully now we can continue the service throughout 2017 and beyond.”

IM Properties has been investing significantly in Mell Square, since it took over ownership in 2013, funding many of the community initiatives and events seen in the square, which in 2017 will include an online wedding fayre, summer events and celebration of the shopping centre’s 50th Birthday.

The locally based property company is currently investing £5m as part of its Poplar Way improvements and St Alphege Place development at the junction of Drury Lane and High Street. This will see Italian restaurant and deli chain, Carluccio’s opening in spring 2017, taking the ground floor of a brand new four-story building with office accommodation above.

IM Properties also recently successfully achieved planning to change eight existing retail units leading down from Carluccio’s to the main square, into three, larger more appealing restaurants with outdoor seating area, to create a street cafe culture.

Rob Hemus from IM Properties said: “We continue to work hard with Solihull BID and the management team at Mell Square to support the tenants and develop a sense of community, with many events staged in the town centre during key periods. Shopmobility is an integral service for the community which we are delighted to support to ensure complete enjoyment of the wide offering in the town centre.”

For more information or to become a member of the Solihull Shopmobility service, visit the desk in the Welcome Hall of the orange sector of the Touchwood car park, where the Touchwood staff will be happy to help. The free Shopmobility service is open daily from 9:30am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and 10:30am to 4pm on Sundays. Equipment can be booked in advance by calling 0121 709 6980.




Birmingham’s business community gathered at what has been heralded as the city’s most upmarket office scheme, as IM Properties (IMP) revealed it’s £30m redevelopment of 55 Colmore Row - delivering 160,000 sq ft of much-needed Grade A space to the city’s property market.

One of the region’s largest investors and developers, the unveiling marked the climax of a significant journey for IMP, which began in mid-2014 when it bought the hugely historic building for circa. £33m and began its epic transformation, completely remodeling all but the Grade II listed Victorian facade.

The completion of the mixed-use scheme’s timing couldn’t be better, as interest in Birmingham from companies and organisations looking to take space in its Central Business District (CBD) is at an all-time high.

Law firm Pinsent Masons has already signed up for 40,000 sq ft over two floors, and upmarket Argentinian restaurant chain, Gaucho, has taken 15,000 sq ft on the lower ground-floor. Both tenants shared in IMP’s vision for the building. Talks are also underway with another high-end leisure operator.

IMP’s investment director, John Hammond, sees the redevelopment as a key element of Colmore Row’s renaissance, helping bring the historic boulevard back to its origins as the heart of the city’s business community.

“I have to admit I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved at 55 Colmore Row. Many were daunted by the enormity of this project and thought we were brave to take it on.

“However, from the beginning, we had a clear vision of how we wanted to inject a new energy and life into the building. Thanks to our highly skilled in-house project delivery team, we have managed with construction partners, Morgan Sindall, to pull off an extremely complex build, in a tight site, and most importantly to budget.

“By retaining the magnificent facade and restoring the stunning banking hall, which had been hidden away for years, what has evolved is a vibrant, sustainable and contemporary, upmarket office space with a new heart and soul.

“Now one of Birmingham’s most prestigious business addresses, set within a much talked about location with a first class amenity offer, we can see that this has been the right building, in the right place at the right time and this is certainly being demonstrated by the level of enquiries our agents are receiving.”

Ashley Hancox executive director from the Birmingham offices of CBRE, who act as joint agents with Savills on 55 Colmore Row added:

“Without exception, the response from the guests was one of amazement and admiration. They were wowed by both the outstanding reception area housed in the old Banking Hall - a unique gem in our cityscape and the outstanding office environment that combines exciting and contemporary workspace with unrivalled views across Birmingham’s Colmore Business District. We are excited to be promoting such an important development for the city and on behalf of IMP.”

Coleshill based IM Properties is one of the largest privately owned property companies in the UK and a significant investor in the Midlands. Blythe Valley Business Park, Mell Square Shopping Centre, Birch Coppice and The Hub are amongst its portfolio.






IM Properties has secured another major tenant at Blythe Valley Park, off junction 4 of the M42.

Midlands based accountancy firm PKF Cooper Parry has agreed a lease on the entire ground floor West Wing, totalling 17,810 sq ft, in the newly refurbished One Central Boulevard building with IM Properties.

Currently based at No8 Calthorpe Road, PKF Cooper Parry’s new office at Blythe Valley Park will provide a modern, aspirational environment, incorporating the latest business thinking on flexible workspace and employee wellbeing.

Rob Hemus from IM Properties said the firm’s decision to move from a city centre location to the greener, more open spaces of Blythe not only reflects its forward thinking but is a growing trend from occupiers looking to set themselves apart to attract and retain the best staff.

“We’ve always said Blythe is not your average nine to five. The location sits perfectly with occupiers’ desire to offer employees something a bit different, which isn’t all about the work. Set in a 122 acre country park, we’re geared up to looking after staff wellbeing with open spaces to get out and run, walk and cycle in. We’ve also got a Virgin Active gym on site and have recently invested in a coffee house, which opens Q1 2017 and will be run by leading Birmingham independent Java Lounge.

“Blythe also offers an active social scene with regular occupier events such as Foodie Fridays to get people out of their offices and talking with like minded businesses and individuals. It’s important the park offers a sense of fun as well as function for occupiers and their employees to enjoy.”

Ade Cheatham, CEO of PKF Cooper Parry, said: “One Central Boulevard will provide us with modern, high specification, Grade A office facilities. Anyone who has visited our Sky View office in the East Midlands will know that we’re not your typical firm of accountants and like to do things differently.

“The new West Midlands base has been designed to be flexible, to encourage creativity and collaborative working.  It will be leading edge in design, with lots of quirky and fun features thrown in - from Narnia cupboards to Segways and a running track to ‘wow’ our staff and clients alike.

“On a practical level, One Central Boulevard puts our offices at the centre of the motorway network, within easy reach of each other and our clients across the Midlands. We’ll also have ample visitor parking and space for future growth - we have ambitious growth plans and are planning to double our market share in the West Midlands over the next two years, adding new experts and talent across the team.”

PKF Cooper Parry is the fastest growing firm of accountants in the UK and the only accountancy firm listed in The Sunday Times’ 100 Best Small Companies to Work for.

The firm joins existing tenants Siemens, Arup, Infor, Enzen and Zenith at Bythe Valley Park. Prologis and Rybrook have also both signed pre-let agreements for 15,000 sq ft of space.

Ashley Hancox, executive director and national head of offices at CBRE in Birmingham, said: “Attracting a tenant with the vision and aspirations of PKF Cooper Parry is exactly what the letting team hoped for as we set out our ambitions for One Central Boulevard and future phases of Blythe Valley Park. 

“Their decision to commit to the Blythe Valley adds great credit to the work undertaken since the Park was purchased by IM Properties and their aspirations of creating the next generation of mixed-use environment within which you can live and work.”

Blythe forms a significant part of IMP’s portfolio in the Midlands and recently won outline planning to create one of the most ambitious sustainable new communities in recent years, centred around creating up to 750 new homes.

As part of the approved plan, IM Properties will also look to add up to further 1 m sq feet of commercial space, which will potentially create up to 7300 new jobs in the area. Provision for a 200-bedroom hotel and a housing with care facility of up to 250 units, leisure and other uses of up to 40,000 sq ft is also included.

IM Properties, based in Coleshill, is one of the largest privately owned property groups in the UK, with an investment and development portfolio of circa £900 million across the UK, Europe and US.