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News Release

Birmingham

Developers invited to further the renaissance of Walsall’s urban heart


Birmingham, 9 May, 2012 - Developers are being invited to further the renaissance of Walsall’s urban heart, by taking on a keystone site in the town’s ambitious Waterfront project.
Jones Lang LaSalle is looking for companies to transform 2.2 acres of brownfield land at the western end of the Town Wharf –currently known as Walsall Lex.
The location, once occupied by a motor dealership, is on the Wolverhampton Road, Walsall’s main arterial link between J10 of the M6 and the town centre.
Unusually, the site has prominent canal frontages on two sides, so the successful design proposals will have to make innovative use of the exciting location. 
The developed site will be a continuation of the successful schemes which have come forward since the turn of the century as Philip Farrell, an Associate Director in Jones Lang LaSalle’s Birmingham office commented: “This is a rare chance for a developer with the right skills - and an ambitious design vision - to create a genuine transformational scheme, in one of the region’s biggest urban centres.

“This is rightly considered the gateway site for Walsall town centre, which is why the Council will place such a high premium on the design elements, and on the quality of the completed scheme. This is a genuine opportunity to open up an excellent location, with the right occupiers, for the people of Walsall.” 
      
The surrounding area has been transformed since the arrival of the £21m New Art Gallery in 2000; thanks to the pioneering work of the Council, in partnership with Advantage West Midlands and now The Homes and Communities Agency.

The last phase of the Waterfront South scheme is due to complete shortly, bringing 320 homes and designer apartments to the canal side location. Jessups’ project was chosen as Britain’s best waterside regeneration scheme in 2011, and Jones Lang LaSalle is aiming for proposals of equal quality for the Lex site.

Stuart Buckley, of the Homes and Communities Agency, who own the site added, “Developers will need ambition and resources to take on Walsall Lex, as all involved know that we are looking for something special. It’s a strategic location for the council, and they see it as ideal for leisure uses, such as a hotel, conference space or restaurants.”

Tim Johnson, Executive Director for Regeneration Services at Walsall Council, said: “This is further evidence of how Walsall is bucking the national trend in seeking and attracting new investment which will provide sustainability and new opportunities for economic growth."