Relief appears in sight for M42 corridor’s office drought

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Significant chunks of much-needed speculative Solihull office space look set to be delivered along the M42 corridor in 2020, according to one of the region’s leading office market specialists.

At the end of Q2 2019, KWB’s head of office agency, Malcolm Jones, admitted concern that the supply of new Grade A stock to that important economic area had virtually come to a halt .

However, he now believes developers are drawing up plans for spec space, which will hopefully go before planners early in the New Year.

“The corridor is a driving force for the regional economy, but can only retain its appeal to local, national and international companies if chunky amounts of new space are quickly delivered,” says Jones.

“Nothing can be certain in the current volatile environment, but if these proposals become reality, momentum will certainly return to the market.”

Elsewhere, it appears that Grade A space is also due to come to the market in both Bromsgrove and Redditch.

“Both are long-established strategic locations, but demand has been unsatisfied because no new space has come forward in recent years,” admits Jones.

“However, talks about upcoming transactions are now moving forward, and I expect that around 15,000 sq ft will be involved, which is a sizeable amount for those markets.”

Overall, the Q3 data underlined the ongoing strength of the M42 and Solihull markets. Seven lettings accounted for an impressive 130,863 sq ft of space, just under 30,000 sq ft short of the total achieved across Birmingham’s city centre market.

The largest transaction saw global technology manufacturer ZF take 90,000 sq ft on Blythe Valley Park, the biggest office deal in the area since Q2 of 2015, and a vote of faith in both the area’s economic strength and the quality of its skilled workforce.

Blythe Valley Park

Just one transaction was completed during the three months in the centre of Solihull, as aluminium casting technology specialists, MQP, signed for 959 sq ft at The Courtyard.

However, activity elsewhere was strong, with four transactions of between 6,858 sq ft and 11,093 sq ft. The latter letting, to supply chain management software specialist Llamasoft, was also a record rent for the Cranmore area of Shirley.

For more information on offices on Birmingham Business Park and offices in Solihull, contact Malcolm Jones on 0121 233 2330 or email