Newly incorporated firm Snow Hill Birmingham Developments has unveiled plans for the next phase of the highly anticipated One Snow Hill Plaza redevelopment in the heart of the city centre.
Following the reopening of the previously vacant Kennedy Tower as a 224 bedroom Holiday Inn Express in 2013, the developers are keen to push forward and have submitted a planning application with a view to transforming the area’s derelict snooker hall and petrol station into a conference facility or gymnasium capable of boosting the local economy further.
Although planning permission was granted for a conference facility on the site in 2011, this latest application extends the plans to allow for the construction of a gym which developers believe would prove popular with both local residents and guests staying in the nearby Holiday Inn Express. However, the application also stipulates that only one of the two uses would be operational at any one time.
Should permission for the second phase be granted, Snow Hill Birmingham Developments intends to create a 17,200 sq ft space with a bar, kitchen and new ground floor lobby capable of catering for up to 550 guests. It is estimated that this development would create around 30 new full time jobs, adding to the several hundred to be launched in the wider Snow Hill Masterplan which was unveiled earlier this year.
Falconer Chester-Hall, a Liverpool based architecture practice, has designed the plans for the latest element of Snow Hill’s regeneration and believes the development would help to fill the leisure gap currently prevalent in the area.
In a statement quoted in the Birmingham Post, it said; “Our aim is to provide high-quality conferencing facilities or a gymnasium in this prominent part of Birmingham city centre, and converting the vacant snooker hall to conference facilities/gymnasium will ensure the future economic sustainability of the site.
“The design intention is to provide a facility which can be used by the local community and will add to the vitality of the area whilst supporting its continued regeneration.
“The scheme will increase visitor footfall on and around the site – the passive surveillance this will bring and the conscientious design measures we intend to introduce will improve pedestrian experience around the site and will promote a positive first impression of the city.”
Snow Hill Plaza has been cited as one of Birmingham’s most exciting upcoming commercial districts, with a number of businesses from the services, financial and retail sectors all expressing an interest in moving to the area in the coming years.
Council bosses hope that this will play a huge part in regenerating the wider city centre as a whole, tying in to additional redevelopments such as New Street Station and the Bullring Shopping Centre to boost tourism levels and thereby strengthen the local economy.
Falconer Chester-Hall agrees that this would be the case, concluding; “This proposal for conferencing facilities/gymnasium dovetails with the surrounding leisure uses and will give hotel guests, local residents and the general public another accessible amenity.”
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