A unique opportunity to preserve and develop two stunning historic City Centre Grade II* listed buildings


The Opportunity

Long leasehold opportunity for stunning Grade II* Listed Murdoch Chambers and Pitman Building.

With spectacular 19th Century designs at the height of the Arts and Crafts Movement, the redevelopment opportunity comprises c27,000sq ft NIA across five storeys in a central location to the north-east of Birmingham City Centre, within the prime retail, business and higher educational hubs.

Key Features

  • Approximate net internal floor area 27,330 sq. ft. (2,539 sq. m)
  • Site of approximately 0.37 acres
  • 250 year long leasehold interest
  • Grade II* Listed building
  • Redevelopment opportunity available
  • Opportunity for alternative uses (subject to planning)
  • Located within Snow Hill Masterplan
  • Good road and public transportation links
  • Ground floor income stream
  • Vacant possession of the upper floors upon completion
© Crown copyright and database rights 2017 OS


Murdoch Chambers

153-157 Corporation Street
Birmingham B4 6PH

Pitman Building

159-161 Corporation Street
Birmingham B4 6PH

Murdoch Chambers and Pitman Building occupy a prime location on the north-west side of Corporation Street, to the north-east of Birmingham City Centre. The site is located within a mixed urban block bounded by the Priory Queensway to the west, Newton Street to the east, Steelhouse Lane to the north with Corporation Street to the south. The Grade II listed County Court building is located adjacent to the subject premises, the rear of which faces the Coroners Court, accessed from Newton Street.

Excellent Road and Rail Links

The location benefits from excellent road and rail links, including New Street Station and Snow Hill Station, whilst also being in close proximity to the Curzon Street Station development, the location of High Speed Rail Two. Within easy walking distance is Birmingham Children’s Hospital, local Universities and the main retail areas of Grand Central and the Bull Ring Shopping Centre.


The 1890s saw Birmingham’s dominant High Gothic architectural style give way to the distinctive local school of Arts and Crafts architecture, a movement that marked a golden age in the city, placing Birmingham at the forefront of world-leading work.

Buildings were increasingly designed in an understated style that limited ornament, based on traditional forms of local vernacular architecture, which in Birmingham was largely brick, roughcast and half-timbering.

This Grade II* listed building formed part of the eclectic and spectacular Elizabethan revival work of Crouch and Butler. Built in 1896, it was partly used as a vegetarian restaurant, which expanded into The Pitman Vegetarian Hotel in 1898, believed to be named after Sir Isaac Pitman, then vice-president of the Vegetarian Society. It was still operating in the 1930s and boasts Mahatma Gandhi as a former customer.

Architectural Style

True to the Arts and Crafts style, the exterior of the building comprises purple bricks and buff terracotta to the front with a tiled roof. There are five storeys plus 1 storey of attic located in Pitman Building.

The first floor has 3 triplets of windows. On the second floor a canted bay window rises into the storey above. The third floor offers sash windows all beneath a richly decorated eaves cornice. Two arched entrances are situated on the ground floor on both sides of the modern shop fronts.

Planning Guidance

Planning and heritage consultants, Lathams have produced a Feasibility Study and Heritage Assessment in partnership with Cushman and Wakefield. The assessment is included in the tender pack and can be viewed on the Data Room page.

Development proposals will require planning and listed building consent that must be considerate to the listed building status and should look to improve its setting and appearance where possible.

The current existing use of the building is Class B1 offices. The building has potential for conversion to hotel, student accommodation or residential use for the upper floors. It is unlikely that a substantial increase in height will be acceptable. Any development of additional floor space through increasing the height of the existing buildings must be sympathetic to the appearance of the building and the conservation area.

The feasibility study provides guidance on the various options available. All proposals will be subject to planning.


The premises are to be sold on a long Leasehold interest for a term of 250 years. It is also sold subject to all third party rights, easements and statutory designations.

Local Authority

Birmingham City Council

Offers and Conditions of Sale

This development opportunity is offered by way of a two stage process.

Stage 1

Interested parties need to make their Stage 1 offer by completing the form in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document in the prescribed format. The following information will be required.

  • 1. Name and status of company
  • 2. Solicitor’s detail
  • 3. Detail of proposed use including designs
  • 4. Track record of heritage development
  • 5. Financial Track Record
  • 6. Financial bids.

Closing date Stage 1: Noon Friday 8th December 2017

Offers will be evaluated in accordance with the matrix as shown in the Invitation to Tender Document.

All of the initial offers received will be fully evaluated and a number of parties will be invited to submit a Stage 2 bid.

Stage 2

Following the evaluation of the Stage 1 bids, a shortlist of developers will be invited to submit a further offer.

Conditional offers will be considered.

The Tender document will set out the offer conditions. If the conditional offer is accepted the successful purchaser will be required to exchange contracts within six weeks of the offer being accepted and to submit an appropriate planning application within a further 3 months with the aim to achieve completion by an agreed deadline.

The acceptance of any offers and subsequent negotiations will be subject to formal Cabinet approval.

Purchase Price and Payments

Offers are sought for the long leasehold interest in Pitman and Murdoch on the basis of an initial capital premium plus a geared ground rent. On exchange the purchaser will pay a minimum non-refundable 10% deposit on the premium. The balance of the premium will be due on the completion of contract.


The purchaser will pay the council’s legal, agency and administration fees amounting to 2% of the purchase premium price.


By appointment:
Sahaba Begum
Birmingham Property Services
0121 303 3483