Kinrise picks team for Martins Bank Building office conversion

The developer acquired the iconic Liverpool building last year and has now selected firms, including architects Red Deer and Brock Carmichael, to drive the project forward. 

The full project team Kinrise has assembled to convert the Water Street property into offices comprises: 

  • Red Deer – Concept architect 
  • Brock Carmichael – Delivery architect 
  • Arup – Planning consultant
  • Paragon – Project manager and cost manager
  • Peter de Figueiredo – Heritage consultant 
  • Jensen Hughes – Fire Engineer 
  • MJM Consulting Engineers – Structural engineer 
  • Pinnacle ESP – Services engineer 
  • Project 4 – Principal designer  
  • Assent Building Control – Building control 
  • Lucian Environmental – Asbestos consultant
Martins Bank, Kinrise, P.Kinrise

The ground floor will remain open to the public. Credit: Kinrise

Talks with shortlisted contractors are ongoing and Kinrise is aiming to lodge a planning application for the project “very soon”, according to co-founder Sam Lawson Johnston. 

Kinrise, which specialises in the conversion of listed properties, aims to transform the Martins Bank Building into 140,000 sq ft of grade A office space with a restaurant created in the former banking hall. 

“We are very familiar with renovating listed buildings,” Lawson Johnston told Place North West.

In Manchester, the company owns four buildings within the Albert Estate. It acquired the assets in 2015 before renovating them. Earlier this year, Place North West revealed Kinrise had sold Canada House, part of the Albert Estate, to Grosvenor for around £22m.

The company’s first venture into Liverpool aims to provide a much-needed lift for the city’s office market.

“There is a drastic lack of grade A space in Liverpool. Companies and inward investment don’t have places to go or move between,” Lawson Johnston said. “We want to create an interesting product that doesn’t currently exist in Liverpool.” 

Unlike the nearby India Buildings, which was recently converted into offices for HMRC, the ground floor of the Martins Bank Building will remain open to the public, Lawson Johnson insisted. 

See inside the transformation of India Buildings 

Kinrise bought the Martins Bank Building from a subsidiary of Starwood Capital last year for around £16m. The previous owner twice had plans approved to convert the property into a 215-bedroom hotel but work never started on site. 

Designed by Herbert James Rowse, the bank building opened in 1932 and has been vacant for more than a decade.

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As a Barclays Bank employee I visited this building on a training course around 1980. I remember being blown away by the beauty of the place even as a teenager. I can’t wait to visit the old banking hall again once it opens to the public. It’s an outstanding building for sure.

By Karen

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