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New owners for jewellery quarter's counting house

A three-storey office building in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter has new owners, just a few months after being put up for sale.

The Counting House is a self-contained part of the Grade II listed Derwent Foundry, sited just off St Paul’s Square. Derwent Foundry is a Victorian building, occupied for more than 70 years by Taylor and Challen, who manufactured presses for the jewellery trades.

The former foundry building was converted into apartments by former owner and developer MCD, and a new wing was added. The Counting House was developed at this time, and is an office building with 8,540 sq ft of space, partly new build and partly the Victorian Foundry.

The building is let to Wonderful World Models, who have recently moved in and opened the Counting House as a visitor attraction, café and retail outlet for a range of models, including trains and planes. Wonderful World is a distributor for the world famous Bachmann range of model trains.

The new owners of the Counting House are private investors, and according to Cushman & Wakefield, there was stiff competition to buy the building, which was offered for sale at £650,000.

Cameron Thomson, senior surveyor at Cushman & Wakefield, said the sale was further evidence of the growing popularity of the Jewellery Quarter, which has seen the refurbishment of a number of dilapidated buildings in recent years.

“There is a growing confidence in the Jewellery Quarter as an up and coming area, and it is becoming very popular both amongst occupiers and investors who are looking for stock outside the major prime centres, in order to get better returns at a time when economic confidence remains,” he said.

“This building is effectively new, dating from 2006 when MCD were involved in converting the main Taylor and Challen foundry, another example of an old building associated with the jewellery trade being brought back to life.”

 Cushman & Wakefield is marketing another of MCD’s Jewellery Quarter buildings, the Chamberlain Building.

This is another three-storey building, of 8,978 sq ft, and has one of the most prominent locations in the Jewellery Quarter, standing opposite the famous Chamberlain Clock. The building includes a private car park at the rear, for 21cars. Mr Thomson said that although the building was older than the Counting House, because of its location and the increasing interest in the Jewellery Quarter, a number of prospective buyers were actively considering its purchase.