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Six firms eye city's Blue Tower

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A landmark city centre building which has stood almost empty for more than a decade is still attracting interest from would-be buyers.

The agent in charge of finding a new owner for St George's Central – known as the Blue Tower – says he is in talks with six companies about the 22-storey building.

It comes after a serious bid to buy the building was withdrawn following legal issues.

Kevin Mersh, a director at commercial agent Savills, had hoped to revive the bid from the unnamed business after it was revealed it had hit problems.

But speaking yesterday, Mr Mersh said: "The transaction hasn't proceeded."

The building, in St George's Way, only has occupants for about a quarter of the site, which totals more than 300,000sq ft.

St George's Central is occupied by a Premier Inn hotel at the bottom half of the tower unit, with 24 fully-occupied apartments at the top of the base unit to the north of the site. It also contains a shisha cafe.

"We are talking to six or seven parties," said Mr Mersh. "There's a very good income from the Premier Inn, the 24 flats and the other occupier."

If fully occupied, the building, which has had planning consent for office and leisure use, could accommodate more than 1,500 jobs.

The 269ft building, created in the 1960s to house major operations for BT and the Royal Mail, has attracted controversy in recent years.

The failed bid to buy the building was thought to be one of the most serious since the building was effectively repossessed by the Anglo Irish Bank in 2009, from London developer Magnet Property Investments. Magnet spent £33 million redeveloping the building, but ended up falling out with city regeneration officials after they called for it to be demolished. Magnet then painted it blue.

Meanwhile, the owner of the £25 million Colton Square office complex, opposite St George's Central, says it is in talks with a potential occupier to fill a large chunk of the remaining space.

Robert Cragg, development surveyor at Goodman, said the firm was in talks with a business about the 12,500sq ft third floor of Two Colton Square, which is based at the rear of the former Charles Street police station.

Six firms eye city's Blue Tower


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