Chinatown plans tempt Banksy pub owners to test market

Less than nine months after acquiring the Whitehouse pub daubed with a large Banksy artwork on the corner of Berry Street and Duke Street in Liverpool city centre, the owners are putting the property on the market at a guide price £60,000 above the price they paid.

The pub was sold in February by local investor Frenson at Sutton Kersh's first property auction of the year to Sina Moradian, a nightclub owner from Kirkby, and his business partner, builder Billy Palmer.

The pair paid £114,000 for the landmark site paying £34,000 more than its guide price of £80,000.

The pub will be among the catalogue at Venmore's auction on 19 November at a guide price of £175,000.

In October, a UK and Chinese consortium of developers and investors headed by Liverpool-based Dr Lee Kai Hung, unveiled plans for a major mixed-use development of Liverpool's Chinatown, on the edge of which the Banksy pub sits.

The secretive Bristol-based graffiti artist, Banksy, was commissioned to create piece for the 2004 Liverpool Biennial art festival. He created a giant rat holding a marker pen next to his red zig-zag scribble.

Nick Ball, head of auctions at Venmore, said: "Given what is happening in the area now, the owners want to see what somebody else is prepared to pay for the site. The location is highly visible on a busy route in and out of the city."

The 200-year-old pub is a listed building and the owner must apply to Liverpool City Council for planning consent if they choose not to keep the artwork and paint over it.

Venmore's November sale will be its largest this year, with over 70 lots ranging from residential, commercial and 10 development opportunities for landlords and investors.

The auction will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool One and will be filmed by BBC's Homes Under the Hammer which uncovers the tricks of the property auction trade.

  • Venmore's next auction will be held on Friday 19 November at 2.00pm at The Hilton Hotel, Liverpool One. To register interest contact Venmore Auctions on 0151 236 6746 or online at

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