The existing site of the wholesale markets had opened back in 1974 it includes markets for meat, fish, poultry and horticulture with warehouses and ancillary accommodation. The site is currently owned by Birmingham City Council and is located in the city centre next to the Bull Ring shopping centre and Digbeth. Entrance and access to the markets is via Pershore Street.
The site area of the markets is 21 acres which makes it the largest market in the UK and up to 13,000 customers visit it per week.
Below the wholesale markets has the remains of a medieval manor house which was once surrounded by a moat which was built in the 12th century. The manor house was once contributed to a medieval town.
The big city plan to promotes to re-expose the moat as part of the new development. The proposed development has taken this into account in our design of the redevelopment.
Around the wholesale markets has seen the developments of the Bullring Shopping Centre and the recent refurbishment of the Digbeth Coach Station. With also the new proposed major infrastructure redevelopment of New Street Station.
The markets are surrounded by void commercial units, retail units, offices and small car parks of which are in poor condition. In the vicinity of the wholesale markets lies the Chinese quarter, gay village and the Arcadian entertainment centre.
Seeing as the current wholesale markets is so great in size the scheme will be of mixed use. The prime focus will be of an international theme. There will be included restaurants, cafes and shops. A global theatre, for all international entertainment, and a separate developed landmark hotel within the historic moat. It will link the area to the main city core of which will be of high quality and also provide the essential boutique style shopping experience.
In order to integrate the project into the main city centre core it is will be essential to also acquire the land which is currently used as the indoor markets as hatched in blue on the plan below.
It is anticipated the project will be completed in 2 phases and will be high quality like the city core.
Phase 1 has 3 main pedestrian walkways which will provide easy access to Bullring, Digbeth and Pershore Street. These walkways will lead to the globe theatre which will be in the open square area. The old moat will also be restored and a flagship hotel will be developed in the centre.
Phase 2 will include more retail, restaurants, cafes and two more indoor arcades. Finally the indoor market area will be the other focal point, on the other side of the development enabling there to be a good number of attractions on both phases of the site.
Once phase 1 has been complete this will potentially attract a great number of customers, which will then trigger the need to complete phase 2. Please refer to the pictures below which show both phases.
The scheme will help to remove barriers between the city centre and the Southside of the city. It will help create a retail loop from the Mailbox through Southside and Bullring via New Street Station and back to the Mailbox.
It will help improve the transport infrastructure by using monorails, trams, better public transport to ensure a more environmentally friendly means of commuting. It is anticipated that the monorail can be used within the site as a form of transport.
The development will create employment opportunities during and after completion, and also offer shoppers retail boutiques and multicultural cafes and restaurants.
The council previously valued the wholesale Markets site at £20 million a year ago and claimed that developers were queuing to buy the land. The subsequent recession has slowed down the number of developments taking place throughout the UK.