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Taywood closes in on the Cube

Taylor Woodrow has winged in to become the hot favourite for a £100 million contract to build a mixed-use development in the middle of Birmingham.

The firm was not even on the original shortlist for the work, known as 'the Cube', which will centre around a 17-storey block designed by Make, the firm headed up by architect Ken Shuttleworth.

Sir Robert McAlpine and Miller submitted documents to client Birmingham Development Securities for the deal earlier this year but the pair are still waiting to find out whether they are left in the race.

One insider said: 'The client has kept us waiting so long that there is a general feeling that they have burned their bridges with the originally selected contractors.

'We know they are in talks with Taylor Woodrow but we haven't had an official 'no'.' Taywood is understood to have made it through to the second stage of the two-stage process but this week the firm was remaining tight-lipped about its involvement in the scheme.

The project marks the final phase of Birmingham's Mailbox development, most of which was completed by Carillion in 2000.

Designed to reflect the city's heritage in engineering and jewellery, the building will feature the city's first roof-top restaurant.

Largely comprised of residential apartments, the development will also be home to a number of shops with commercial office space planned for some of the lower floors.

Located on Commercial Street, the development will also include an open atrium that twists as it climbs the height of the 42,000 sq m building.

Work is expected to start on site later this summer, with completion planned for 2008.

By Stephanie Hendries

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