McAleer & Rushe starts £68m BTR tower block in Birmingham

McAleer & Rushe has won a £68m contract for the construction of the first stage of the £120m Exchange Square 2 development in Birmingham city centre.

Work for the 37-storey build-to-rent residential tower block, opposite the future HS2 Curzon Street rail station, starts on site this week. Completion is scheduled for summer 2023.

McAleer & Rushe’s client is the Manchester-based developer Nikal. Stage two of the Exchange Square 2 development, for which Nikal also has planning permission, includes a 15-storey Premier Inn Hotel and 6,000 sqft restaurant building, both pre-let to Whitbread, along with 7,500 sq ft of retail space with 63 under croft car parking spaces.

Nikal’s team includes architect Stephenson Studio and structural engineer Curtins, with Arup as building service engineer. The residential tower block will have 375 build-to-rent flats and has been sold ahead of construction to listed landlord Grainger.

Nikal development director Darren Jones said that the contractor’s selection followed an encounter in Cannes on the French Riviera.

“We first met McAleer & Rushe in MIPIM last year and held initial discussions about this and a number of other pipeline projects,” he said. “They are one of the UK’s leading design & build contractors with a 50-year heritage and an impressive portfolio of landmark projects in the Residential sector. In addition to all this experience and success, they have a pure passion and enthusiasm for construction that, as a client, you look for in your main contractor.”

Exchange Square 2 is part of the second phase of Nikal’s Masshouse project, a £350m regeneration plan to redevelop one of the parcels of land created in 2002 when the Masshouse Circus, the city’s ‘concrete collar’ ring road, was removed.

McAleer & Rushe commercial director Emmett McGinley said: “We are thrilled to be entrusted as design & build partner for this stage of the major development at Exchange Square where we have worked collaboratively with the development teams at Nikal and Grainger, to reach this key milestone.

“Using our expertise in the residential and BTR sectors, we will be implementing modern methods of construction to complete the tower building, paving the way for the successful and sustainable delivery of the project for all stakeholders involved and much needed homes in the area.

“We are nearing completion on a high-rise student project at Lancaster Circus in the city and are very pleased to continue our engagement with the local community and provide further employment opportunities as construction progresses,” he added.