Statement from Quintain Estates regarding Island House

Here’s a statement from Quintain Estates explaining why they wish to proceed with the demolition of Island House:

“Due to the proposal to introduce High Speed 2, we are unable to proceed with our plans for the City Park Gate scheme, which expressly provided for the retention and refurbishment of Island House. In the current circumstances, no tenant is interested in taking occupation of the building as they will have to vacate in a few years to make way for the new HS2 station, and we are left with a vacant building in an advanced state of disrepair, which attracts vandals and is sporadically used as a location for drug-related activities. Regrettably, the only sensible course of action is to demolish the building to prevent the anti-social behaviour continuing and then landscape the area.”

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About Nicky Getgood

Living and loving Digbeth.
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4 Responses to Statement from Quintain Estates regarding Island House

  1. Julia Larden says:

    Just as a matter of curiosity, I would like to know what efforts Quintain actually made to advertise the building as to let. We have a similar situation in Acocks Green where the owners of a plot of land they are trying to build a supermarket, which would be likely to threaten the centre of Acocks Green, have pathetically bemoaned the fact that they could not find other tenants for the land which is still, officially, earmarked for industrial purposes. A shrewd local campaigner pointed out, however, that before we got our hankies out for the poor land owners/developers, who were unable to let the site for two years, it might have helped if they had actually advertised the site. Landlords don’t let if they don’t tell tenants that there is something to let!

    I am not saying this is definitely the case – and still think Quintain could have done a darn sight more to make the property attractive if they did try to let it – if they did advertise this still doesn’t let them off the hook, but just a point to bear in mind.

  2. Barnard says:

    The building would make a great pub/restaurant, if J D Wetherspoon bought it they would make a good job of converting it, and it would be busy especially with the large student population in the area even before the new station was built.

    The main augment for demolishing it by the owners seems to be that it keeps getting broken into and attracts anti social behavior and graffiti, surely the answer is to make it more secure until such time as it can be renovated.

    The big question is Island House directly in the way of the planned HS2 (Super Moor Street) Station or not ?

  3. Keith Dowsett says:

    Much as I like vernacular architecture, I am more interested in people than in buildings. This building is, without doubt, an absolute design classic: perfect of its period, characterful, interesting, in a dominant position emphasised now by the broad sweep of open space surrounding it. The shame is that nobody, in these straitened times, has come forward to put the building to better use: there’s really no doubt what an iconic building it could become if some investment and imagination was supplied…but we can’t stand in the way of progress. It does seem, as others remark above, a bit peculiar that such an amazing building in a brilliant location has not attracted lessees or buyers – how bizarre. Perhaps the developers might enlighten us as to why this might be? However: it does appear, from the plans, that it is not necessary at all to demolish this site for HS2 itself. Therefore one does have to ask: who is standing to gain from this demolition, or more probably, who is already banking on being able to sell off this prime site for something else in order to fund another part of their development? And so – what sort of progress is it that takes a site which real live people could put to good use for all sorts of life-enhancing purposes, and razes it to the ground to build apartments, or another Tesco, or another coffee shop? And moreover, as the people who live here, why do we get no say in which buildings get smashed to bits, and even less in what replaces them?

  4. adam wilkes says:

    Here’s the position of Island House in relation to the new HS2. I’m all up for HS2 but Island House is such an iconic building and it’s going to be demolished. This is sad because it’s such an iconic looking building and the new Hotel La Tour sits so nicely next to it. New buildings with old, compliment each other so well and i think it’s a wrong idea to get rid of it completely. If they can make it work with the new HS2 then I’m all for it.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/adamwilkes/6830473721/in/photostream

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