High Speed Benefits for Commercial Property?

High Speed Benefits for Commercial Property?

Plans for a National High Speed Rail Network – HS2 for short – have attracted controversy since their announcement and will continue to do so even after the Ministry of Transport’s final report before the end of 2011.

The Government’s claim is that although it would cost £32 billion to construct, it would generate benefits of around £44 billion, as well as revenues totalling a further £27 billion.

The effects on commercial property in Birmingham and the Midlands will be one of more interesting aspects to consider. There will be a number of new passenger terminus and they are obvious areas for commercial property development, especially retail, office and leisure accommodation. The Birmingham terminus will be at Curzon Street – site of Birmingham’s first railway terminus in 1838 – and the value and scope of commercial property opportunities will dwarf the current redevelopment of New Street Station Gateway redevelopment valued at £500m and aiming to generate £2b worth of revenue.

A new interchange station would be constructed where the line of route passes the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and Birmingham Airport and the commercial property opportunities here are likely to run into £100s of millions.

What is harder to quantify is the effect on the commercial sector that the High Speed Link itself will generate. The claim is that you can leave Birmingham at 8am and be in London for 8.50. If true, that will have a massive effect on commercial property Birminghamand the Midlands. Not only will Birmingham potentially become a commuter overspill for London and the South East, its commercial possibilities will suddenly become very attractive to those paying London rents or still searching for top class centrally-located commercial property. Companies who do their business in the City will surely be happy to locate in Birmingham knowing they are 60 minutes away from Euston and a world away in times of cost and commercial property management charges. If Birmingham has the availability and quality of commercial property to match London, there could be a boom that will generate value, jobs and confidence.

The effects on Birmingham city centre retailers of the proximity to London for shoppers is unknown of course.

The High Speed link will also have value outside of Birmingham, and into other areas of commercial property. Being at the centre of a high speed network that will eventually link London [and then Europe] and north to Manchester and Liverpool will offer reasons and opportunities for all types of business to locate or expand within the region leading to increased demand for commercial and industrial premises and units. There is likely to be development land available for further commercial property construction.

The renewed confidence in the region that will follow the construction of the Network cannot be valued but should not be understated. After years of declining values and following a deep recession, the importance of such investment must be the opportunity to build growth, jobs and further investment in the region. Commercial property will be a leader and beneficiary of the fast track to future growth.

commercial property Birmingham

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