Monday, 23 April 2012

MSc Visit to Birmingham

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Professor Nick French took the MSc students (MSc Real Estate Management and MSc International Real Estate) on a field trip to Birmingham. The last one before the field trip everyone has been waiting for: Barcelona. You'll have to wait until June for that report. Back to Birmingham. It may not have Gaudi but it has got the Selfridges Building:

Selfridges, Birmingham - Parametric bridge by ell brown
Photo by Ell Brown via Flickr

So what happened?

The morning started with a visit to Brindley Place, Birmingham's premier business and leisure destination, for a presentation from GVA Birmingham about local investment and retail markets. The speakers were: George Jennings (Offices), Barry Riley (Investment) and Paul Brewer (Retail).

At 12pm the students moved on to the Bull Ring, the commercial centre of Birmingham. There is some interesting information about the history of the Bull Ring area on Wikipedia. The students were there for a walking tour of the latest development - the Bullring Shopping Centre which was completed in 2003.

The morning at Brindley Place - photo by Jo Emery

Where's Nick French going? Photo by Jo Emery

After lunch, the students went to visit the Urban Splash development at Fort Dunlop and also attended a presentation by Nick Batt on the development. Fort Dunlop is now a stunning office building which boasts a number of amazing and innovative features, but when it first opened in 1917 it was the biggest factory in the world and it manufactured solid tyres for lorries. In the 1970s it was still the largest tyre factory outside of the USA, but with the increase in imported cars, large scale tyre production ceased in the 1980s. In 1999, Urban Splash acquired the building and surrounding land and breathed new life into the old buildings and a new chapter began. Have a look at the Urban Splash website for the full story and some great images of the development.

Fort Dunlop - photo by Jo Emery

Looking out from the Fort Dunlop building - photo by Jo Emery

Relaxing on top of the Fort Dunlop building - photo by Jo Emery

Finally, if you're interested in the history of Fort Dunlop and the tyres it made, take a look at the following video:

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