Former Birmingham City Council office to convert to hotel

The Louisa Ryland House, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Photo credit: Elliott Brown/Flickr(Image: Elliott Brown / CC BY 2.0)

Euro Property Investments has partnered with hotel operator Native to convert a former Birmingham City Council office block in the UK into a 173-room aparthotel, according to a report from BirminghamLive. 

The property's owner, Euro Property, secured planning permission in 2016 to redevelop the Louisa Ryland House as offices with a restaurant and cafes on the ground floor. Now, the group is writing up an application for the hotel.

Euro Property’s recent plans for the development include a restaurant, a coffee shop, a fitness studio and drop-in office facilities on the ground level. "Increasing numbers of business and leisure travelers are buying into the aparthotel concept, which provides the independence of apartment living with the service and flexibility of a hotel," Guy Nixon, founder and CE of Native, told BirminghamLive.

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Euro Property faced controversy for the hotel redevelopment plans, which included a two-story extension of the roof. Although Birmingham's Victorian Society opposed the extension, the city's planning committee approved it in 2016. According to a report from Birmingham's Conservation and Heritage Panel, "The proposed development will include conversion of the building to a hotel with ancillary uses on the ground floor and basement. The conversion will also include various minor external and internal changes to the approved scheme to reflect requirements of the hotel operator. It is intended to implement the roof extension as approved." Euro Property acquired the three Victorian era buildings behind the city's Council House in 2014. The building, which was constructed in 1879, was originally three separate buildings: The Medical Institute, the Board School Offices and the Parish Offices. 

The three were damaged along with a clock tower during the bombings in World War II. They were also damaged during an IRA attack in 1974. In the 1980s, the buildings on Newhall Street underwent extensive renovations, merging the buildings into one. The Victorian facade of the Louisa Ryland House was retained during the revamp. During its business transformation program, the city council moved out of the Louisa Ryland House in 2012 as it sold off many of its offices. The building remained vacant until Euro Property bought the property two years later.