A new generation of city centre New York-style urban offices is to be launched in Coventry in the next 12 months before being rolled out across the UK.
Bunker has been established to offer small and flexible contemporary office and co-working spaces in the heart of cities aimed at attracting companies especially in the digital and creative industries.
It is the brainchild of Neil Edginton whose award-winning company, EDG Property, has transformed The Co-Operative building in Coventry into high-spec apartments and restaurants.
EDG is now planning to set up Bunker’s first operation in the 14,000 sq ft basement below the 1950s building in Corporation Street.
EDG will be showcasing the plans at MIPIM – the world’s largest property investment and development show – where the company is part of the Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership.
He said: “We believe there is a real shortage of contemporary office space for small and growing companies who want to have the buzz of city centre life and with the flexibility to grow.
“A great number of digital and creative companies do not want to be out on business parks alongside large corporates, they would prefer funky city centre space which they can shape and mould to suit their needs and which will also put them alongside like-minded firms.
“Not only does that serve their business needs, but it also brings cutting-edge, ambitious companies into city centres with the associated vitality and economic spend which will benefit other local companies.
“Bunker has been created to meet those needs and we are hugely excited with the scheme we have devised for Coventry and we are already looking at other cities which we believe have a similar needs.
All of the apartments at The Co-Operative, which features the regions first internal park, have been sold and the restaurants all successfully let.
Café Morso, Steakout, Rodizio Rico and Heavenly Desserts have taken leases on the commercial units completing the development – apart from The Bunker.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration and a Board Member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The redevelopment of this prominent, former retail site has been impressive.
“It is another example of what Coventry is doing well, it is saving the best of the old while building the best of the new and the success of this wider scheme has not surprised me at all.
“This scheme fits with our plans to make Coventry a great visitor city and boosting retailers at a time when we have a lot to look forward to, as UK City of Culture 2021 and a host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”