Ludgate Hill Carpark to be transformed into a 720 home neighbourhood

Moda Living has unveiled ambitious plans to transform a section of Great Charles Street into a residential-led neighbourhood complete with lounges, co-working spaces, new shops, commercial space and a gym.

Working with the owner of the land, Birmingham City Council, the development will see Ludgate Hill Carpark, a 2.6-acre brownfield site, transformed into a residential neighbourhood with 722 new homes for rent.

Forming part of the historic Jewellery Quarter, the site was identified as an ‘opportunity for change’ by the council, having remained undeveloped for over 50 years.

Moda says the significance and heritage of the site has been carefully reflected in the plans, with the distinctiveness and character of the Jewellery Quarter reflected in ground floorplans for boutique retail, independent café-bars and restaurants, health and wellbeing amenities, and workspace for small businesses and freelancers. The public realm plans aim to contribute to the Jewellery Quarter’s vibrant atmosphere, creating active frontages and drawing people from the city centre.

The designs compromise of four unique building styles along Lionel Street, transitioning from a more industrial style at the corner of Livery Street to an ornate, statement building at the corner of Ludgate Hill. With active ground floor uses, Lionel Street will capture the very best of historic Jewellery Quarter architecture with a contemporary style, the jewel in the crown of the proposed development.

Complemented by sleek and modern design, the corner of Great Charles Street and Livery Street will feature a 39 storey building, contributing to a sense of arrival around Snow Hill Station. At street level, a new plaza will welcome visitors and residents at the gateway to the site. At the centre of the plans is 29,350sqft of interlinked public realm with three main landscaped areas including gardens, planting and seating areas.

Plans are being designed in context of Birmingham City Council’s emerging proposals to reclaim streets and roads in the city centre.

Gareth Callen, Partner, Ryder Architecture, who designed the scheme, commented: “Great Charles Street is a key site at the transition between the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area and Birmingham City Centre. We have developed our design proposals in detailed collaboration with officers of Birmingham City Council and all stakeholders creating a contemporary place truly influenced by history and context, reflecting the character, personality and dense urban grain of the Jewellery Quarter twinned with the strength and order of the larger buildings along Great Charles Street, exploiting the clarity of the reinstated Ludgate Passage to add order to this transition. This development could only be here, reflecting the rhythm, character and essence of this special place, the transition between the Jewellery quarter and the city.”

Leader of the Council, Ian Ward, Birmingham City Council, who also sits on the Strategic Economic Delivery Board of the City, commented “We are delighted to see Moda progressing with these hugely impressive plans to transform this long vacant plot in the heart of our city – in our Big City Plan. Bringing quality, new housing stock to the city is of paramount importance to this Council. Our aim is to continue to create a world-class city centre for everyone to enjoy by planning for the next 20 years of transformation and growth – and this project is an important part of that.”

Subject to planning, this will be Moda’s second site under development in the city, after ‘The Mercian’ on Broad Street. The new development at Great Charles Street takes its cue from the character and architecture of the Jewellery Quarter.

Family-backed Moda, alongside funding partner, Apache Capital Partners, across both projects, will account for a total investment of £445m to deliver more than 1,200 homes into Birmingham city centre. This will be a key factor in helping to support the ‘Big City Plan’ agenda for economic growth and the project helps provides c. 24% of the council’s ambitious target to provide 5,000 new homes.

Construction of The Mercian building on Broad Street

Tony Brooks, Managing Director at Moda, commented: “We are thrilled to progress with our Great Charles Street development, our second site in a city we love. We strongly believe that Birmingham is not only a great city to live, work and invest in, but also to thrive in – and we want to offer next generation living to the people of this amazing city for years to come.

“Our build-to-rent projects are changing the way people live and make their home today. We provide more opportunities, amenities, options and facilities than ever before, all built sustainably with an especially strong commitment to their local communities. At Moda we are certain that service must no longer be seen as a premium but instead as the uncompromising core of our offer.

“The consultation we are running will be opportunity to view and comment on proposals to regenerate a significant and highly accessible brownfield site on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter. The site, currently vacant land used as car parking, will be an exciting new neighbourhood adding to the prosperity of the city. The local authority has been fantastic in helping to guide us on our journey.”

Moda is holding its public exhibition for the Great Charles Street plans on 26th and 27th February from 4pm – 8pm at St Paul’s Church, St Paul’s Square, B3 1QZ.