Out-of-town case studies

Advising typically on over a third of transactions that take place for offices in Solihull and the M42 corridor, including Redditch and Bromsgrove, and with an extensive portfolio of impressive office developments around the Midlands motorway network, KWB is the largest agency in the region specialising in out-of-town office developments. Here is a selection of our office agents out-of-town case studies:

Birmingham Business Park

Location: Birmingham Business Park

Client: Canmoor/BlackRock

Size: 350,000 sq ft

Birmingham Business Park represents KWB’s largest instruction. First brought on board by previous owners, Canmoor, KWB has been retained by new owner, BlackRock an American investment firm, with Canmoor remaining as asset managers.

The fortunes of Birmingham Business Park have completely turned around in the time since Canmoor’s purchase and KWB’s instruction, and it is now the premier business park in the Midlands. The business park now stands at 90% occupied, a level of occupancy that it has not seen for well over 10 years.

KWB recognised that the potential sizes available on-site make it one of the few office locations in Greater Birmingham that can support large relocations, expansions or consolidations. Offices at Birmingham Business Park offer businesses great connectivity, not only with the rest of the country, being close to J6 of the M42, but internationally as well, with its close proximity to Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International train station.

KWB supports its marketing of the office space on Birmingham Business Park with a strong SEO strategy to ensure that the business park is prominent on relevant online geographical searches. KWB has secured key occupiers, such as Uniper, Changan Automotive, Canon UK and Ryder Trucks. The office lettings and sales that KWB has successfully secured in recent years on the Park have made KWB dominant in the quarterly transaction totals for Birmingham’s out-of-town office market.


Location: Solihull

Client: BAM Properties

Size: 170,000 sq ft

One of the largest speculative office developments on the M42, taking advantage of a shortage of high grade office space in this sector, FORE’s profile and identity was guaranteed due to 75,000 cars per day driving past the site.

Rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and situated in one of the last remaining and sought after central locations in the UK, this 17-acre landmark site benefited from sustainable design, excellent on-site car parking and a unique office parkland setting, making it ideal for new headquarters-style offices. Hugely prominent and highly visible from the M42, this new business park in Solihull had branding and visual identity opportunities that were without comparison.

For the marketing of the property, we set about targeting large companies with multiple regional offices within a fixed geographical area. We then conducted thorough telephone research to identify the specific occupiers, where FORE’s location would represent the central point between their multiple sites. This proactive approach allowed us to find companies which were, potentially, looking to consolidate their office space stake into one location.

Office consolidations have been behind many of the larger lettings within the Birmingham out-of-town office market; that’s why we focus on identifying these sorts of enquiries before they enter the market. Targeted direct marketing and a strong SEO campaign helped in securing several substantial lettings, which included occupiers such as ArcelorMittal, UTC Aerospace and eTech, achieving rents of £21 per sq ft.

Eagle Court

Location: Sheldon

Client: Aviva Investors

Size: 133,000 sq ft

Eagle Court is located just off the Coventry Road, close to Birmingham Airport. The development is made up of three sizeable headquarters style office buildings, each comprising approximately 66,000 sq ft of office space. The striking, predominantly glass-fronted buildings, include full height atriums and excellent M&E provisions.

1 Eagle Court was pre-let to Lex Autolease, with the remaining two buildings being marketed by KWB and joint agents using targeted research and direct marketing campaigns.

Eagle Court’s high level of occupied space is the result of securing major occupiers in well suited space. Occupiers, such as Virgin Media, which was identified through targeted research and a direct marketing campaign, found, in Eagle Court, an office with excellent strategic location and high quality office space. The appeal of the offices to these occupiers has motivated substantial expansions within the building.

Julian Cobourne, Asset Manager for building owners, Aviva Investors, said regarding a recent letting: “Securing over 20,000 sq ft of lettings at Eagle Court is fantastic news – and we’re pleased that the property has achieved a rental of £17 per sq ft. We’re delighted that Virgin Media continues to expand within Eagle Court, and that they use the scheme as their core office for the Midlands region.  Such a high profile occupier, with a stake of this size – now 85,000 sq ft – reinforces the significance of the development within the region.”

Friars Gate

Location: Solihull

Size: 73,000 sq ft

Client: Topland

Friars Gate is one of the most prominent buildings in the Solihull area of Birmingham’s out-of-town office market. The building is situated 1.4 miles west of Junction 4 of the M42, 1.7 miles east of Shirley town centre and 3 miles south of Solihull town centre. Providing Grade A office space, in accordance with a refurbishment programme which KWB advised upon, demand for Friars Gate has been significant.

The prominence of the location, and healthy occupancy rate motivated the development of a new Costa coffee drive thru at the site – providing an immediate amenity to the building, which in turn furthered its appeal to potential occupiers.

KWB has supported marketing of the property with multiple PR works – regarding lettings – to raise profile of the property across the region. In the time that KWB has been instructed on the property, it has secured a wealth of varied new occupiers. Friars Gate now sits in a position of being fully let.

Recent Friars Gate lettings:

  • Caterpillar Financial Services – 13,800 sq ft
  • Bank of Ireland – 10,400 sq ft
  • Thyssenkrup Lifts – 4,100 sq ft
  • Ernest Grant – 3,850 sq ft
  • EUM Consulting – 2,677 sq ft
  • SAI Global – 2,350 sq ft