Admiral new HQ at the half way stage

There was a double celebration in Cardiff on Thursday 27th June, when representatives from the property and construction industry came together for the 'topping out' of Admiral Group's stunning headquarters building and the winner of the 2013 Women in Property South Wales Student Awards was announced.

The event which marked the half-way stage of construction of the 220,000sq ft, 11 storey building in Bridge Street was also a celebration of the success of the working partnership between Admiral, the developers Stoford, Union IERG the funders and construction company Sir Robert McAlpine to develop the biggest pre-let office project ever seen in Cardiff.

It will allow the motor insurance giant to consolidate its operations from four sites it already occupies in Cardiff and potentially increase the number of people it employs in the capital to more than 3,000 in a single location.

The architecturally eye-catching building directly behind St David's 2 Shopping Centre will meet the highest standards of environmental sustainability and energy efficiency and is scheduled for completion summer next year (2014).

Admiral Group Chief Operating Officer David Stevens CBE said: "This is an important day for us as it marks tremendous progress in the development of our new headquarters which will provide all of us at Admiral with a fantastic working environment in the heart of the city. There are very few office locations in the UK or even Europe that offer so many shopping, eating and travelling options in easy walking distance."

"We are delighted to share this event with Women in Property. It seems appropriate to welcome some of the next generation of talented young property professionals to a brand new building which represents the highest construction and sustainability standards."

Stoford, the Midlands based commercial property specialists, agreed an investment sale of £58.7m for the scheme with German fund manager Union Investment Real Estate GmbH.

Dr Karl-Joseph Hermens-Engell a member of the investment company's management board said: "We are proud to be associated with such a prestigious development. The acquisition reinforces the diversification of our European real estate fund's UK portfolio."

Tony Nash, Director of Stoford who has co-ordinated the scheme, said: "The strength of co-operation and commitment by everyone involved to deliver this magnificent building has been second to none.

"We are progressing on schedule and it is an outstanding example of a successful working partnership to deliver a complex city centre project."

A feature of the new development will be a piece of prestigious public artwork reflecting the contemporary nature of the site and in keeping with the prominent location of Cardiff city centre.