Work begins on Exchange Square 2 regeneration scheme in Birmingham

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Regeneration specialist Nikal has announced the appointment of McAleer & Rushe to deliver the first stage of its £120m Exchange Square 2 development in Birmingham city centre.

Work on a landmark new 37-storey residential tower and half-an-acre of new public square opposite HS2 Curzon Birmingham gets underway this week.

The first phase of the entire project, Exchange Square, comprising 603 build-to-rent apartments across three buildings of seven, fourteen and twenty-seven storeys, was completed last November.

The first stage of Exchange Square 2 is valued at £68m and is due to be completed by summer 2023. Nikal has also achieved planning for a 15-storey 235-bed Premier Inn Hotel and 6,000 sq ft Bar+Block Steakhouse Restaurant, both pre-let to Whitbread, and 7,500 sq ft of high quality retail space with 63 under croft car parking spaces, all of which will form stage 2.

The residential building, which is the tallest on the site and comprises 375 build-to-rent apartments, has been pre-sold to Grainger, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord and leader in the UK private rented sector.

A CGI of Exchange Square 2 in Birmingham

Nikal development director Darren Jones said: “We’re excited to be getting on site and commencing the delivery of this element at Exchange Square.

“We first met McAleer & Rushe in MIPIM last year and held initial discussions about this and a number of other pipeline projects.

“They are one of the UK’s leading design and build contractors with a 50-year heritage and an impressive portfolio of landmark projects in the residential sector.”

Mr Jones added: “In addition to all this experience and success, they have a pure passion and enthusiasm for construction that, as a client, you look for in your main contractor.

“Their professionalism, thoroughness and expertise has been evident in all our dealings and we are very pleased to be able to bring them on board to deliver this first stage of Exchange Square 2 on behalf of ourselves, and Grainger plc.”

A CGI of Exchange Square 2 in Birmingham
A CGI of Exchange Square 2 in Birmingham

Exchange Square 2 is the latest element in the second phase of Nikal’s Masshouse project, a major £350m regeneration plan to redevelop one of the parcels of land created through the removal of Masshouse Circus, the city’s ‘concrete collar’ ring road, in 2002.

Emmett McGinley, commercial director at McAleer & Rushe, said: “We are thrilled to be entrusted as design and build partner for this stage of the major development at Exchange Square where we have worked collaboratively with the development teams at Nikal and Grainger, to reach this key milestone. 

“Using our expertise in the residential and BTR sectors, we will be implementing modern methods of construction to complete the tower building, paving the way for the successful and sustainable delivery of the project for all stakeholders involved and much needed homes in the area.

“We are nearing completion on a high-rise student project at Lancaster Circus in the city and are very pleased to continue our engagement with the local community and provide further employment opportunities as construction progresses.”

Andrew Saunderson, director of investments at Grainger, said: “We are delighted to progress on our Exchange Square development, our second build to rent scheme in Birmingham.

“The Exchange Square location makes it attractive and convenient for renters in the city, and we look forward to seeing this landmark scheme progress.”

Nick Payne, co-founder and MD of Manchester-based Nikal, said: “We’re so proud of what we have achieved to date in Birmingham.

“We started with dreams and derelict land, and to see ambitions transformed into thriving busy communities that people can call home is why we do what we do.

“This next chapter in our Masshouse story is our most ambitious to date, and we could not have asked for a better partner in this project than Grainger.

“Their foresight, passion and dedication to creating a sense of place and community, whilst providing high quality homes for all, is admirable.

“We are looking forward to working with them to deliver Exchange Square Phase 2 in Birmingham.”

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A number of other companies are also involved in delivering Exchange Square 2.

They include:

Stephenson Studio – architecture

Curtins – structural engineering

Design Fire Consulting – fire safety engineers

Artal – employer’s agent

Arup – services engineer

Williams Gallagher – planning consultants


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