New Solihull office space should be built urgently

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Solihull office construction and refurbishment should be at the top of the M42 office market agenda, as high quality stock in the market reaches its lowest ever level, warns KWB’s John Bryce.

KWB’s Q2 report highlights that with a market lacking office space so severely, rental levels are increasing and presenting problems for occupiers either looking to relocate or approaching a lease event.

They are calling for more office space to be built urgently to prevent occupiers from either remaining in their existing space or considering relocating elsewhere.

Newly-refurbished high-quality space will set record levels for Birmingham’s out-of-town office market and while there is slightly more office space coming on stream, refurbished stock coming up is few and far between and likely to be taken very quickly.

John Bryce, director at KWB, said: “Whilst we have seen commitments to creating new industrial space along the M42 responding to the delivery boom, Solihull office construction has not followed suit. Instead, we saw – and drove – a flurry of refurbishment, which delivered some much-needed high quality office stock. Pre-lets for new space then followed – namely those at Blythe Valley Business Park. However, such new opportunities are now thin on the ground.

Aerial view of Blythe Valley Park, Solihull
Blythe Valley Park, Solihull

“Ongoing lack of supply now means that some occupiers are having to look elsewhere. These represent missed opportunities for commercial property investors and developers, underlining the strong case to invest. Solihull is regarded as a very prosperous area – having fared well during periods of recession – and continues to attract businesses to the area, making it a prime location with excellent commercial property potential.

“Whilst development proposals, such as the NEC Masterplan and Arden Cross, are in the pipeline, the timescales cannot address the short and medium-term issue. We need to see projects that can deliver office space in a shorter timeframe. This requires proactive investors as well as suitable sites with a supportive approach to planning permission.”

Arden Cross mixed use scheme that would see new Solihull office construction
Arden Cross CGI

Despite high occupier demand, just seven lettings totalling 35,419 sq ft were secured during the quarter. Most of the new occupiers were development and construction-related, tying in with HS2 and projects including Arden Cross. BN Developments took 4,405 sq ft at Barnsley Hall in Bromsgrove; Buckingham Group Contracting took 4,110 sq ft at 2 Stratford Court in Cranmore, Shirley and DC Construction took 4,228 sq ft at Queen Anne House in Coleshill.

The full version of the Q2 report can be read here.

KWB has an extensive understanding of the Solihull and M42 office market, with a broad portfolio and track record in the area. Landlords considering refurbishing their Solihull office space, or commercial property developers looking for opportunities in the area should get in touch. Please contact Malcolm Jones on 0121 233 2330 or email