A new aparthotel and boutique hostel is set to be built above one of Birmingham’s most popular concert venues.
New plans have been lodged to redevelop the eight-storey St James House in the city centre which houses part of the O2 Academy in its ground floor space.
Office accommodation above the venue, which has lain vacant for many years, could now be expanded by an additional four storeys and converted into 94 aparthotel rooms and 64 shared hostel units.
There would also be a communal lounge, gym, kitchen, coffee servery, work area and cycle storage, subject to planning consent.
Some demolition work will be required at the site off the A38 Bristol Street and a “heavy slab” will be installed at the third floor in a bid to create a noise barrier between the O2 Academy and bedrooms above.
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The new complex is expected to create 40 full- and part-time jobs once operational.
Areas of the site occupied by the O2 Academy fall outside of the scope of this new planning application.
The 1970s Brutalist building has been the subject of previous applications to create student accommodation and in 2018 consent was granted for 70 apartments but these never came to fruition.
The project has been designed by architecture practice Cartwright Pickard on behalf of investor and developer Prosperity Capital which was behind the Globe Works student residential scheme in the city’s Gun Quarter.
A statement supporting the planning application said: “The building has historically been in office use but has been vacant since 2003.
“The main reason for the building’s long-term vacancy is owing to it siting above the O2 Academy and the significant technical design solutions needed to mitigate noise impacts and the barrier of this as an abnormal cost.
“The design team has sought to tackle this constraint and it has been a key driver in the design from the outset. Structural engineers, noise consultants, architects, cost consultants and planners have been working to find a solution that works and is deliverable.
“The noise constraint has, in the past, limited the viability and deliverability of schemes approved for this site.
“The applicant has undertaken a significant amount of due diligence to assess the building’s potential to be put back into an active, commercially viable use.
“It has become clear that serviced aparthotel and boutique hostel accommodation is the most feasible long-term use.
“This proposal would bring a long-time vacant city centre site back into viable use while providing much-needed overnight accommodation for business and leisure tourists to Birmingham.”