WAIT for one Liverpool Waters projects to come along and a proverbial three arrive all at once.
A trio of high porfile schemes was officially announced today, but instead of the shores of the Mersey, Peel’s team unveiled their plans on the shores of the Med.
The team from Peel Land & Property, led by development supremo Lindsey Ashworth, announced plans for an eight storey office block spanning 100,000 sq ft, plus a 413 ft residential tower both on Princes Dock. It also said a hotel with apartments will be constructed on an, as yet, undisclosed location within the north docks.
The communique from the French Riviera, where the annual property beanfest known as MIPIM is taking place, stated: “Addressing the world’s property development and investment community from the Liverpool stand at this year’s MIPIM property conference in Cannes, France, Peel Director Lindsey Ashworth outlined details of the latest advanced negotiations.”
It didn’t say how many members of the “world’s property development and investment” community were actually in the audience to hear the good news.
However, it is the first tangible sign that Liverpool Waters is on the move again. The developments will ultimately start to transform the 60-hectare waterfront site and will hopefully support jobs, provide homes and deliver leisure space.
Such is the strength of interest in Liverpool Waters, Peel claims, that it plans to identify four additional plots of land to be offered to the market in the near future.
Ashworth confirmed that a detailed planning application had now been submitted for an eight-storey 100,000 square foot Grade A office building at Princes Dock. This is the first such application since Liverpool Waters received its final outline planning consent in November 2013 and, says Peel, is a signal of the developer’s commitment to, and belief in, the city’s commercial office market.
The development site is off William Jessop Way near to the Malmaison and multi-storey car park and the building has been named William Jessop House after the 18th century civil engineer.
Peel says the building draws its design inspiration from the location’s history as part of the city’s historic port. “Taking stacked shipping containers as a visual cue, the designers have produced a unique building which is unashamedly modern yet in-keeping with the colour palette and scale of the current Princes Dock buildings”.
Secondly, Peel confirmed that it had now agreed a deal with developer Moda Living for a managed residential tower of over 325 apartments aimed at the private rent sector. Originally announced in December 2014, this tower will sit next to the new officer block and will reach 126 metres with its 40 storeys.
Moda Living expects to submit a planning application for this tower to Liverpool City Council in the autumn of this year. If planning consent is granted, building work could begin on site next year with completion in 2017.
Finally, it was confirmed that terms had been provisionally agreed on three of the other 88 waterfront plots. Two would be a hotel bringing 150 high-quality hotel bedrooms to the city with 40 “high end” residential apartments managed by the hotel. The third site is proposed to be developed for circa 100-apartments. Both development sites would command river views.
Lindsey Ashworth, director at Peel said: “These announcements mark a major milestone for Liverpool Waters confirming what we hear time and again that the city’s waterfront is a key attraction for investment. It also shows that Liverpool Waters is moving forward with a balanced mixture of uses befitting a modern dynamic city.
“We are proud to be putting an office building of the quality of William Jessop House to the city planners. It will be a transformational development which will attract businesses from within and from outside the city region. Princes Dock is currently enjoying a good occupancy rate of 97% across its three waterfront office buildings.
“We may develop it ourselves, sell the land on to others to develop or form a joint venture partnership. At this stage we rule nothing in and nothing out regarding the future development of this site in order to retain the flexibility to respond to the market.”
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