A West Midlands’ property consultancy has won the contract to manage and oversea several urban transformation projects on an historic 1,500-acre estate.
GBR Phoenix Beard — an independent agency with offices in Birmingham, London and Leeds — has now taken over the management of Calthorpe Estate’s commercial property portfolio, with the prime focus on its prestigious suburban holdings in Edgbaston.
Victoria Burgin, a director at GBR, will be the client director for the Calthorpe account. “We have been working meticulously behind the scenes to be ready to start work with Calthorpe Estates, and are looking forward to liaising closely with the customers and suppliers during this busy period,” she said.
She explained that an early priority will be reviewing the existing property management systems and building on the work already underway on the Calthorpe Estate. “As part of our initial induction, we will be making arrangements to meet with customers on a regular basis to listen to their views and issues,” she added.
Last December the estate submitted a planning application to redevelop several buildings in Harborne Road, Edgbaston, as the latest phase of a village-style regeneration scheme. The company wants to create a “vibrant community” in the Greenfield Crescent area with shops, houses, public space, leisure facilities and possibly a hotel.
If granted, December’s application will allow the conversion of existing buildings to provide three retail units and a 6,500sq ft office complex and eight two-bedroom apartments. A design statement said: “The ground floors will be converted to commercial use, with the aim of attracting high-quality retailers offering more unique or bespoke goods than one might find on the typical high street.”
Commenting on his estate’s new manager, Calthorpe chief executive Mark Lee said: “I am delighted to welcome GBR Phoenix Beard to partner with Calthorpe Estates, having known many of their people for several years.
“It was imperative that we found the right match for this brief, and what has impressed my team during the appointment process has been GBR’s attention to detail and willingness to go the extra distance to understand our unique business model.
“The synergy and shared values of our businesses have been evident throughout the appointment period,” he added.
GBR’s managing director, Simon Farrant, explained the management contract was only secured after several months of detailed discussion “to make sure we offer the right fit with the diverse range of stakeholders involved”.
He continued: “We are extremely proud of our roots in Birmingham and can demonstrate detailed local knowledge of the property market in the city which will greatly benefit to Calthorpe Estates’ customers.”
Situated just a mile from Birmingham city centre, the estate covers both commercial and residential districts and incorporates one of the UK’s largest urban conservation areas. Sir Richard Gough bought the Edgbaston estate and manor from the Middlemore family in 1717 and it has remained under the ownership of the same family for almost 300 years.
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