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Exclusive: Myrtle Parade set for demolition

Larry Neild on the rise of new-build student flats and how they might impact on traditional bedsit-lands

Written by . Published on March 13th 2014.

Exclusive: Myrtle Parade set for demolition

IT'S a "hidden enclave", frequented by university lecturers and students in the know, and plenty of local people rely on it too. A small parade of shops and cafes, home to the popular Eureka Greek restaurant and Kimos too.

But the days of Myrtle Parade seem numbered. Plans have been submitted to demolish the mainly single storey precinct, to be replaced by two buildings of up to eight storeys tall.

A new ground floor area, spanning around 12,500 sq ft, would accommodate shops and eating places. Above there will be 43 clusters of student accommodation providing 303 bed spaces.

The application was submitted this week to Liverpool City Council’s planning department, by a Mr D Kelly who is seeking full consent. That means it is an active scheme, rather than a hoped-for development.

Myrtle Parade Liverpool %282%29 

Slightly off the beaten track Myrtle Parade, for some decades, has provided a little escape from the University of Liverpool’s ever expanding campus on the opposite side of the road. 

Many academics use it as a place where they can catch their breath away from the maddening crowds of students.

One of the longest established businesses is the corner Chinese takeaway, owned by the same family for nearly 30 years.

“We have been given some papers about the new scheme but we have no idea when it will happened,” a lady who described herself as the owner, told Liverpool Confidential.

Will she return if and when the new place is built?

“I don’t know, I don’t think so. We have been here for many years. The rents for the new shops would probably be much higher than what we pay now,” she said.

In the past few years the face of Myrtle Street has changed dramatically, with multi-level student flats changing the landscape and plenty of watering holes, such as the Baa Bar, catering for students.

It also ponders the question for local decision makers – what will become of the traditional student bedsit lands? For decades, most of them have rented houses or rooms along places like Smithdown and Croxteth Roads, keeping alive communities that may otherwise disappear.

Myrtle Parade Liverpool %281%29Student developments on the rise futher down Myrtle Street

What about the student residential campuses in Greenbank and Mossley Hill? There are always strong rumours about places with high land values, such as Carnatic Halls of Residences, being flogged by the university. Those sites would earn a fortune for the university for up-market housing redevelopments.

Nearly all the bigger planning applications for city centre schemes in recent years have involved student living accommodation.

Just this week Downing, the Liverpool property company, announced at the MIPIM property event at Cannes of their plans to build hundreds of student flats in Islington.

Downing is currently converting the old Scandinavian Hotel in Chinatown into student accommodation, and the site of the old Odeon in London Road is set for another undergraduate invasion.

Meanwhile Myrtle Parade, now a hub for entrepreneurial Chinese businesses, seems to be the latest to make way for the never ending thirst for student living space.

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29 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMarch 13th 2014.

When did Kimos move to Myrtle Parade then?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Absinthe & TurksMarch 13th 2014.

It's the original KImos too!

AnonymousMarch 13th 2014.

The area hasn't been the same since Dave Parry left Chatham Street.

AnonymousMarch 14th 2014.

Just a few minutes ago (its around midnight) I saw the 699 student special heading along Rose Lane. The students were packed in like sardines. I thought they were all going home to their dorms. They were just heading out to town. Hope they all finished their homework before they went out on the razzle. Some lecturers want their lectures to start no earlier than 11am to give their students time to wake up. Poor little mites. These night owls will be running our lives in a few years. Scary isn't it.

Andy HopleyMarch 14th 2014.

Laughable that people get aerated over a brutalist, concrete, shithole. I love Kimo's and Eureka, but their owners will be compensated and their reputation will guarantee their future success. As John rightly said, these 'dying' areas have benefited immensely from the arrival of Chinese students. I welcome any re-development that encourages students to our city. The world of the red braces finacier is coming to an end. Education and innovation is going to put countries in the power/wealth ranking table's. Therefore after the 20 year, BA (Hons) in basket weaving and football pitch studies sebaticle, students are becoming important and valuable again. We need a city that caters to their whims and welcomes them.

Judith PattersonMarch 15th 2014.

There is always something being taken away, what about the people there ?high rises arnt for everyone, we are English not american.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyMarch 15th 2014.

Very glass half empty. What people there?

AnonymousMarch 17th 2014.

David Charles Parry for a start!

Bill MajorMarch 15th 2014.

My student days 1969-72 relied on the old shop on the university side of the road to Myrtle parade, even in '69 it was antique. I ''discovered'' granary bread and a wealth of other more exotic foods. Many of your correspondents seem to relish the total populating of the "learning" quarter or whatever the awful phrase is. A city centre full of students is great, for half the year. Be careful though of what you wish for. Relying on one source of income can be a bit risky.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyMarch 15th 2014.

They run summer schools etc It didn't get noticeably quieter during the summer last year. Some of the accommodation is rented out to tourists and Language schools for people learning English. Better a risky single source rather than no source. Was Myrtle Parade built when you were there?

AnonymousMarch 17th 2014.

Let's preserve Myrtle Parade in Aspic like the Welsh Streets. Dave Parry used to shop at Beaver's off licence, so it should have a blue plaque.

Sir Howard WayMarch 18th 2014.

Myrtle Parade hasn't been the same since it lost Coulthard's the sub-post office. When did Kwame's go? The only improvement in recent years was the arrival of the Shisha Cafe

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Sir Howard WayMarch 18th 2014.

As for the BaaBar that is merely the latest name on a building that has housed a successon of failed student bars. Before that it was the Geisha, before that the Varsity, before that the Symphony etc. etc.

John BradleyMarch 18th 2014.

Was Kwame the Off License. Seem to go about 6 moths ago. Beaver has never opened.

Sir Howard WayMarch 19th 2014.

Kwame's was the Caribbean Restaurant, curried goat jerk chicken rice and peas etc. Beaver's/Beazer's actual shop title was 'Mersey Wines'. His customer service was legendary. It was hilarious how he reacted to a student wanting twenty Silk Cut and offering to pay by cheque.

John BradleyMarch 19th 2014.

I was aware of the legendary customer service of which you speak. Mersey Wines closed and was repainted and retiltled as a take away, about 3 moths ago. Kwarme's must have been gone 3 years+

Sir Howard WayMarch 19th 2014.

He shouted something like "FAAA KOFFADDER HERE!"

Sir Howard WayMarch 19th 2014.

The point is that the shops in and around Myrtle Parade supply local people with what they want at prices they can afford. Purpose-built high-rise student accommodation (like Vine Court in the photograph) will replace the shops with little of social use, just such such things as expensive coffee bars. Are the poor people to be socially cleansed from the area as per Lady Porter in Westminster?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyMarch 19th 2014.

There are no shops in the actual parade any more. Any local's shopping have too do with the Tesco or 1 of the 3 Chinese Shops along the street. S&A now Bank! Bang! commons.wikimedia.org/…/File:Bang!_Bang!_19_February_2014.jpg… commons.wikimedia.org/…/Category:Myrtle_Street,_Liverpool…

Sir Howard WayMarch 19th 2014.

By heck! I wonder if that was inspired by the explosion and fire that caused the building to collapse into the road a few years ago?

John BradleyMarch 19th 2014.

Sounds like a plausible explanation, unlike the 1 for the fire.

Kiron ReidMay 3rd 2014.

A good article though I'd like to know more about the developers. Exactly right about lecturers seeking peace and quiet in the Eureka; and introducing each new generation of lecturers and PhD students to probably the best Greek restaurant in the city. In the meantime, while the Mayor and Council officials do nothing to reign in the huge Liverpool student housing bubble, take a look at the volume of property between Garmoyle and Smithdown that will be empty if the students all move to town. What contingency plan to encourage families to move in - and will student landlors only sell at the inflated prices they've been able to pay for houses? Look at the Mulliner. From 150 yards on the opposite side of the road towards ASDA. The pub was kept in the HMRI scheme but has been left to fall apart so no doubt it can then be demolished for a 'landmark' corner development, including student flats.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyMay 3rd 2014.

The devs name is given as Liverpool Edge (Myrtle Parade) Limited I assume related to companycheck.co.uk/…/05055177…

John BradleyMay 3rd 2014.

Another new Resturant for Myrtle street. This time DOwnings offices. northgate.liverpool.gov.uk/…/PL.xml&DAURI=PLANNING…

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