Plans for a huge new apartment complex rising to 50 floors in Birmingham have been unveiled which could also see the famous old King Kong statue make a return to the city.

Jewelery Quarter developer Cordia Blackswan is behind the proposed development at Thorp Street in the Southside area, which would contain 487 units for rent, ranging from one-bedroom to penthouse apartments.

The project, alongside the Hippodrome Theater and the Birmingham Royal Ballet buildings, would also have a residents’ lounge on the 48th floor containing a workspace, library, cinema, games room and garden.

A restaurant and bar are offered on the 49th floor coupled with an observation deck taking up the entire top floor which will be accessible to the public.

New retail units are planned on the ground floor, the existing building at 17 Thorp Street will be retained and used as retail space while a bike centre, gym, spa and wellness area have been added. been reserved for the first and second floors.

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The tall tower, which was designed by Digbeth-based firm K4 Architects, has been dubbed ‘Act One’ while the larger scheme including a new public realm is branded as ‘Chung Ying Plaza’.

A central part of this will be the return of Nicholas Monro’s famous 1972 King Kong sculpture, which once stood proudly outside Birmingham’s old Bull Ring Center and other locations around the city before taking up residence long term in Edinburgh and later elsewhere in the UK.

A report prepared in support of the newly submitted planning application stated that “Chung Ying” was a Cantanose term which translates to “China and England” and that Chung Ying Street was famous for linking Hong Kong and Shenzhen in mainland China. , signifying the close ties between England and China. .

The application site currently houses the former Chung Ying Garden Restaurant which closed in 2018 after being fined £30,000 for food hygiene failures.

The overall project will be called Chung Ying Plaza and will see the return of the city's famous King Kong statue
The overall project will be called Chung Ying Plaza and will see the return of the city’s famous King Kong statue

This will be demolished to make way for the new project. Subject to consent, construction work will begin at the site in the summer of 2023 with a proposed completion date of early 2027.

The report adds, “Chung Ying Plaza will create a memorable new destination to live, work and visit. It will be a unique and attractive new part of downtown, featuring an exciting new public space, with Nicholas Monro’s King Kong statue as its centerpiece.

“It will offer a diverse mix of uses that fully embrace future ways of living and working, with an emphasis on health, well-being and social interaction.

“The project will reinvigorate, reanimate and kick-start the regeneration of this underused and neglected part of Southside and complement the surrounding development by creating critical mass, increasing footfall, a greater sense of place, destination and focus. for new investment while creating a link with the Smithfield regeneration area.

“The project was founded as part of a larger master plan developed alongside other key stakeholders and aims to create a new mini-neighbourhood and interconnected neighborhoods, defined by a dynamic cluster of high-rise buildings. which will continue to enhance Birmingham’s city center and skyline.

Act One will have nearly 500 apartments for rent as well as commercial and leisure spaces
Act One will have nearly 500 apartments for rent as well as commercial and leisure spaces

“The project focuses on creating a unique place and a quality experience for its occupants and gives new meaning to a somewhat neglected part of the city.

“The concept of a ‘vertical village’ aims to establish an integrated community of people who will live, work and spend downtime in development.

“The creation of Chung Yang Plaza as a new public space and improvements along Thorpe Street represent a significant intervention into the public realm within Southside where the Act One tower will land.

“It represents the first phase of a larger structured vision to create a people-focused green zone capturing the culture and creativity of the racecourse.”