25th January 2018
The Mailbox – Birmingham’s premier mixed use asset – has completed a major office pre-let with WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consulting firms. This letting will see WSP occupy 47,000 sq ft of newly refurbished, Grade A office space for its new West Midlands’ regional headquarters (with a further option to increase this letting up to 55,000 sq ft).
With 7,640 people based across the UK, WSP provides technical expertise and strategic advice across a broad range of sectors including real estate, infrastructure, transport, healthcare, and energy. In Birmingham, WSP has been involved in some of the most significant redevelopments in the city, including 212 Broad Street, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Snowhill 3, Grand Central, and the Bullring.
The Mailbox is the UK’s largest mixed use asset outside of London. Located in the heart of Birmingham city centre, a short walk from the recently redeveloped New Street Station, the Mailbox incorporates a broad and complementary mix of uses, including:
- 200,000 sq ft of Grade A offices fully leased to WSP, the BBC, Advanced, and Associated Architects;
- a 45,000 sq ft, leading-edge Harvey Nichols’ department store;
- a further 85,000 sq ft of high-end / aspirational retail, including the likes of Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani, and Paul Smith, alongside the largest collection of homewares brands in the West Midlands’ region, including MADE.COM and Heal’s;
- 80,000 sq ft of restaurants, cafés and bars, including restaurants by Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens and a boutique, 3-screen Everyman cinema;
- Birmingham’s leading 24/7 car park, providing 687 spaces; and extensive, canalside public realm.
WSP’s future accommodation at the Mailbox is currently being extensively refurbished to deliver a high quality, inspiring workplace within the unique volume afforded by a one acre floorplate and up to 5.6 metre ceiling heights. On completion, the offices will benefit from enhanced sustainability credentials, exposed services, an abundance of natural light, canal views, a dedicated entrance lobby, and direct access to car and bike parking, in addition to its interactivity with the 24/7 mixed use environment of the broader Mailbox estate.
The Mailbox marks a major new regional headquarters for WSP as it consolidates multiple office locations in the region to bring up to 700 staff into one new, centrally-located home. This significant pre-let to WSP marks a continuation of large commitments to the city and the broader region by major businesses including HSBC, PwC, Deutsche Bank, Jaguar Land Rover, HS2, HMRC and Advanced.
Matthew Wherry, Head of Corporate Real Estate at WSP, said: “The Mailbox provides an exciting opportunity for us to create a great workspace for our employees. Its central location, superb local amenities and unique canalside setting, all serve to enhance our ability to recruit and retain the best people and continue to support our many clients in the Midlands region.”
Alex Wright, Associate Partner at Brockton Capital LLP, said: “We are delighted WSP has chosen the Mailbox as its new regional headquarters for the West Midlands. The combination of strong location; high quality, big volume, flexible space; and a 24/7 mixed use environment offering some of Birmingham’s best dining, retail and leisure offerings right on the doorstep, all contribute to make the Mailbox a unique and vibrant workplace setting.
These are exciting times for Birmingham with the city benefitting from significant public and private investment, net new job creation, and economic growth, with much more to come, including the £56bn HS2 high-speed London-Birmingham railway line and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
We are looking forward to working with WSP on the delivery of this prestigious commercial space and welcoming their 700-strong team to the Mailbox later this year.”
Ashley Hancox of CBRE, joint office leasing agent for the Mailbox, said: “This pre-let to WSP marks another significant achievement for Birmingham, which has enjoyed a record 2017, seeing take-up exceed 1 million sq ft.
Together with its central location, landmark status, range of uses and 24/7 environment, the Mailbox is perfectly positioned to help market-leading occupiers attract and retain the best talent and improve productivity and wellbeing amongst staff. It is this combination of key factors that explains why the office space at the Mailbox is now 100% spoken for by occupiers of the quality of WSP, the BBC, Advanced and Associated Architects.”
Fraser Brown and Knight Frank acted for WSP; The Mailbox was advised by CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, with CBRE and Savills as joint leasing agents.