Cube goes pear shaped

The Birmingham Development Company and its construction
subsidiary BuildAbility have gone into administration, threatening the
completion schedule of the much heralded mixed-used Cube development.

Administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers say they “do not
intend to market the development in its current state”, although are hopeful of
continuing construction work.

BDC directors claim to be “bitterly disappointed” they
could not agree with state-run Lloyds Bank, “particularly when the project is so
close to completion”.

“It is a sad day for The Cube, an ambitious project for
Birmingham, into which we have put five years of
our lives, but like many development projects across the UK, it has
succumbed to the pressures of the global economic downturn,” a directors’
statement said.

Other assets developed by the company – such as the
Mailbox in Birmingham – are held in different companies
and are, reportedly, unaffected.

The Cube was originally designed as a 17-storey building
by Ken Shuttleworth, architect of the London ‘Gherkin’.

The multi-million pound Cube site had lined up the
Highways Agency to occupy its main office space and D&D London to open a
panoramic rooftop restaurant.

Business professor David Bailey told the Birmingham Post it was crucial the build
goes ahead with both significant numbers of jobs and the city’s image at
stake.

Marketing Birmingham did not wish to comment on the news
of the project’s predicament.

Image of The Cube courtesy of
Boliston

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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