Gulf buyer forward-funds Echo redevelopment

Dubai investor Select Group has acquired Liverpool’s Echo Building from Reach, the publishing group formerly known as Trinity Mirror, for an undisclosed sum.

Savills and Paradigm Property Management acted for Reach on the sale, having been appointed in May to find a forward-funder for a mixed-use scheme comprising a 207-bedroom hotel, 49,000 sq ft of offices and 26,000 sq ft of retail and leisure.

The four-star hotel is to be operated by Innside by Melia, and will include a restaurant, conference facilities, gym and rooftop skybar. The development is set to be completed by January 2020.

In December 2017, the publisher announced its intention to move its 300 staff in the city out of the building, its home since 1973, taking up 25,000 sq ft at nearby St Paul’s Square, and commissioned Paradigm to take plans forward for the Old Hall Street building. With Corstorphine + Wright engaged as designer, plans were submitted and approved earlier this year.

In February this year, Place North West reported two contractors – ISG and MAC – were in the running to deliver the project.

Richard Dawes, director in the hotels team at Savills, said: “The sale of the Echo Building to Select Group reinforces the appeal of gateway UK cities like Liverpool to overseas capital and demonstrates the strong appetite for mixed use developments supported by fixed income hotel investments.”

Rahail Aslam, group chief executive of Select, said: “Having deployed substantial capital in the city previously, we know Liverpool well and firmly believe it will deliver superior long term rates of economic growth and increase in its attractiveness to other institutional investors.

“We are thrilled to contribute with the redevelopment of the Echo Building, a landmark project that will be a fantastic showcase for the Innside brand and extremely well suited to corporate occupiers.”

Law firm Shepherd & Wedderburn acted for Reach, with Withers representing Select Group.

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