Contractor Multiplex is tipped to build one of the tallest residential towers in Europe after winning the preconstruction services contract

The 50-storey mixed-use tower designed by HOK, which is to be built in the centre of Birmingham, is expected to cost £120m.

The scheme is part of the Arena Central development in Birmingham, a joint venture between Scottish firm Miller Developments and Bridgehouse Capital, a vehicle for local entrepreneur Andy Ruhan.

Multiplex beat high-rise specialists Canary Wharf Contractors and Laing O’Rourke to the preconstruction contract.

A source said that the contract was awarded “last week but had yet to be announced”. He said Multiplex’s win would mean it was now in “pole position” to win the construction contract.

Under the preconstruction contract, it is understood that Multiplex will be advising the client and design team on the construction of high-rise buildings, logistics and programme issues such as how to sequence the release of the residential units for sale.

The contractor will also advise on construction techniques for the difficult city centre site. The source said: “Miller has no experience of building high-rise schemes.”

Miller Developments is expected to issue a formal tender to the shortlisted contractors for the tower’s construction once the project has detailed planning permission.

Multiplex beat high-rise specialists Canary Wharf and Laing O'Rourke

The contract is expected to be design and build or guaranteed maximum price to give the client cost certainty.

The tower has outline planning permission. It is understood that it will be submitted for detailed planning approval early next year with construction of the tower expected to commence next summer.

The 5.6 ha Arena Central scheme is being developed opposite the International Conference and Convention Centre in the city centre, on the site of the former Carlton Television studios. It will have offices, leisure and residential units.

Work began on phase one of the scheme in 2001. This consists of a 19-storey residential tower with 387 flats on Holliday Street, between the Mailbox development and Brindleyplace.

Earlier this year, Multiplex had tried to buy a stake in Arena Central from the developer Hampton Trust, whose subsidiary Southern Holdings owned the site. However, Ruhan bought the stake for £50,000 after Southern Property went into administration.