It sounds like something from a Hollywood heist movie. A series of underground bank vaults in Birmingham city centre have been smashed into, but unlike in the movies, nothing was stolen.
That’s because the vaults at the former Natwest Tower bank on Colmore Row, which once stored millions of pounds, have long been empty.
Constructed from half a meter thick reinforced steel concrete walls, and doors made from 25cm thick steel, weighing more than a tonne, the old bank vaults are being removed as part of the demolition of the Natwest Tower.
Work to demolish the former bank building, which is being carried out by H Smith Engineering, started in 2015 and is due to be completed April.
Peter Graham, construction director at Sterling Property Ventures, said: “We’re reaching the final stages of the demolition programme. The removal of the bank vaults is one of the last significant milestones before we start to turn our attention to the next phase of the project, the construction of the new building, which we’re extremely excited about.”
The NatWest Tower will be replaced by a new £60million 26-storey landmark office building by Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP (Rockspring) and Sterling Property Ventures, called 103 Colmore Row.
When finished, 103 Colmore Row will comprise 224,000 sq ft of Grade A office space over 19 floors, plus 8,270 sq ft of leisure space, which includes a rooftop restaurant.
Eric Linden, European director at Rockspring, said: “It’s great to finally see the end in sight for the demolition phase of the project and we will soon start to see the new building rising from the ground.
“103 Colmore Row will be an exemplar building, combining the very highest standards of office accommodation, complete with stunning views of the city, retail and leisure facilities, with the icing on the cake being the top floor restaurant, which promises to be spectacular and unlike anything else in Birmingham.”