Update on Birmingham Building Projects

eMag logo 100x75John Lewis Store (Part of New Street Station Reconstruction)

It is 2 months since I last reported on this development and the change is again quite remarkable.

Most of the steel infrastructure seems to be in place and the external cladding has been fitted along Hill Street and round the corner into Station Street.

The £100 million store  looks enormous. Occupying the top 4 stories of the building and with an area of 250,000 sq. ft., it is the largest JL store outside London. It  aims to bring 1000 new jobs to the city.

The corner of Hill Street and Station street will contain the main entrance to the station below the John Lewis store, and will also lead into the revamped and very much enlarged Pallasades shopping centre to be renamed Grand Central.

It is scheduled to open sometime in 2014, ahead of the remainder of the New Street Station complex.

Below is a gallery of photos taken this week You can compare this with my previous photos to see how much progress has been made.

Metro Extension

Shoppers in central Birmingham have had to steer round the street works for many, many months. These are to lay the infrastructute below ground to support the Metro extension.

But is there any sign of the tracks for the trams?

Well yes, they are starting to take shape in Bull Street where it skates around one of the tallest buildings in Birmingham.

The new tram extension will open to coincide with the full opening of New Street Station or Birmingham Gateway to give it its new name. Below are some photos I took this week of some of the Metro route of the Snow Hill to New Street station  stop.

Incidentally, Centro has obtained approval and funding  to extend the Metro again up to Centenary Square. This will run from Pinfold Street, outside New Street Station and the terminus for the current extension. It will then run up to Victoria Square and turn right alongside the front of the Town Hall in Paradise Street where another stop will be sited. It will then skirt around Paradise Circus and swing left along Broad street to terminate at a stop just before Symphony Hall and the Hyatt Hotel. This is due to be completed in 2017.

Meanwhile, Centro have decided to change the route slightly around Paradise Circus removing the need for an expensive bridge across Suffolk Street Queensway at the entrance to the tunnels. This change needs a supplementary Transport and Works Act (TWA) Order. To obtain this there must be a public consultation. You can see the roadshow for this in Victoria Square on the following dates:

Thursday 5th September – 08:00 – 15:00
Wednesday 11th September – 11:00 – 18:00
Tuesday 24th September – 11:00 – 18:00

Find out more on the Centro website page Centenary Square Extension. You can give your comments on this extension and the whole of the city extension on the website in a questionaire. Comments close on 27 September.

Centenary Square Seating

£188 million has been spent on the Library of Birmingham and the revamped and greener Centenary Square. But do the the Birmingham people want to sit and view it? Apparently not think our relevant Council department. The 3 piece semicircular seats which have occupied the area along Broad Street and which faced the square have been split up and the cosy-for-two end sections arranged around the outside of the new green area in front of the library. Only thing is they point away from the library and the greenery. See what I mean.

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