Principle to look after historic industrial conversion in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter

An historic foundry in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter that was converted into nearly 100 luxury apartments is to be looked after by Principle Estate Management.

The contract to manage the Grade II-listed Derwent Foundry, which dates from the Edwardian era, has come from Simarc Property Management Ltd.

Principle already manages multiple sites for Simarc, one example being plush apartments each worth approximately £3 million in an exclusive block at Acre House in Covent Garden, London.

Derwent Foundry, situated just off St Paul’s Square and fronting Mary Ann Street, was built in 1903 for Taylor and Challen, which cast presses for the minting of coins and other castings for the jewellery and light engineering trades until the 1970s.

After lying derelict for three decades, it was converted into 98 luxury apartments in a much-lauded £23 million project in the late 2000s.

One of the reasons behind the building’s importance is a claim that its architecture reflects the work of Peter Behrens, the German designer and precursor of the Bauhaus movement.

Brett Williams, managing director of Principle, said: “We’re thrilled to have been appointed to manage Derwent House, which is well known as a prominent building in the Jewellery Quarter.”

Mr Williams explained that this was Principle’s seventh contract in the Jewellery Quarter, where their offices are based.

He said: “It is always pleasing to be approached by leaseholders who want to use us, and we’re looking forward to starting work at this fantastic building

“In many ways, the distance from the development doesn’t matter, but it will be a comfort factor for residents that Derwent House is just a three-minute walk from our new offices on Newhall Street.”

Mr Williams added: “We already have our to-do list based on conversations with the residents and our inspections, and we will work through these to ensure Derwent House is well maintained and a great place to live.”

Natalie Chambers is a director at Simarc, the expanding management arm of the Wallace Group, which now owns well over 100,000 leasehold properties.

She said:

“We were happy to look at a change of agent when the residents put forward Principle, who are already on our approved panel of agents, and we have always been impressed with their customer-focussed care and attention.”