Plans to transform the House of Fraser department store in Birmingham city centre – formerly known as ‘Rackhams’ -  into an office scheme with a hotel have been published.

The scheme includes a 200-bedroom hotel plus bars, restaurants, cafés and retail space.

The Rackhams building opened initially in stages between 1960 and 1966. Recently however, the department store had been earmarked for closure by House of Fraser. The store is located in Corporation Street in the centre of Birmingham.  

The project is still to go through the planning process at Birmingham City Council. We will monitor progress.

St John's Hotel in Solihull has been granted planning permission for a new five-storey extension to the rear of its existing building. The building will add a further 88 bedrooms.

St John's Hotel currently has 180 bedrooms. It was granted planning permission in September to add another 21 across its three existing floors.

From a meetings viewpoint, St John’s Hotel has 1,237 sq-mt of conference and events space with 13 meeting rooms, the largest room accommodating up to 700 delegates theatre style.

Leisure facilities at St John’s Hotel include an indoor swimming pool and sauna plus a fully equipped health club.

St John’s Hotel is conveniently located on the edge of Solihull town centre, a short walk of Solihull station with a regular service on the Chiltern Line to London Marylebone. It is five minutes from the M42 motorway and a 20-minute drive from Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International station.

Adam’s restaurant in Birmingham has taken second place in a list of top restaurants in the UK on TripAdvisor and is placed 11th best in the world. The Michelin-starred restaurant has risen from seventh place in last year’s top ten. 

Adam’s, on Waterloo Street in central Birmingham is run by Adam Stokes and wife Natasha.

Adam opened Adam’s on Bennett’s Hill in 2013 - as a ‘pop up’ restaurant. He won a Michelin star for the city within six months and in 2016 Adam’s moved to the more ‘upmarket’ Waterloo Street premises.

Dishes on the menu include roasted fillet of venison, beets and pepper sauce, pike perch poached, potato mousse and sauerkraut extraction and sea bream in a bread crust, candied celeriac and smoked beurre blanc.

Adam’s includes a private dining room adjacent to the main dining room for up to 17 guests.

Last month the chef revealed plans to open a second restaurant in Temple Street also in the centre of Birmingham – ‘The Oyster Club’ will be an oyster bar and seafood restaurant and is scheduled to open in February 2019.

Since I hear you asking:

UK top spot was taken by Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham and the number one restaurant in the world according to TripAdvisor was Au Crocodile in Strasbourg, France


A new 70-bedroom hotel is planned in the centre of Wolverhampton. The new hotel would sit above The Moon Under Water pub in Lichfield Street in Wolverhampton which is about to undergo a £7million makeover.

The 40,000 sq-ft space above the Wetherspoon’s pub, with its Art Deco frontage, has been empty for more than 30 years. It was previously home for the old Co-op store which opened in 1931.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are looking at a project to build a 70-bedroom hotel above The Moon Under Water and also carry out a full refurbishment of the existing pub.”

The news follows the Grand Theatre's announcement earlier this week that it is planning to expand into the former post office next door and build a permanent pop-up theatre.

Plans are still at the discussion stage and have yet to be submitted.

Plans to transform House of Fraser’s store in Birmingham into offices and a hotel are rumoured to be under consideration.

The House of Fraser store – still known locally as ‘Rackhams’ - is located on Corporation Street in the centre of Birmingham.

The Rackhams building could be redeveloped into nine floors of office space and hotel accommodation. It could also include bars, restaurants, cafés and retail space, as well as a rooftop terrace.

Plans for the redevelopment scheme are being drawn up for submission to Birmingham City Council in the coming weeks.

We will ‘keep our ear to the ground’

Interstate Hotels & Resorts has unveiled plans to open a new hotel and conference centre in Birmingham as part of a major regeneration project in the city.

The project will see a new 195-bedroom Aloft Hotel and an adjacent conference venue open in Birmingham’s Eastside area.

The new hotel will also house a 120-seat restaurant, a cocktail bar and a fully equipped gym.

The conference facilities will include the ‘Affinity Suite’ spanning more than 880 sq-mt and accommodating up to 800 people for banqueting, 1,200 delegates for theatre style meetings or 500 delegates for cabaret style meetings

Two flexible meeting spaces will also be available, accommodating up to 270 people theatre style, as well as a further 13 meeting rooms and two dedicated executive boardrooms for up to 10 delegates.

The new Aloft Hotel will be located on the doorstep of the new HS2 high-speed rail terminal at Curzon Street in central Birmingham.

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