Liverpool office sales aim to defy slack market

The sales of three office buildings in Liverpool city centre, totaling around £14m are due to be completed in the coming weeks.

Commercial Estates Group is selling the problematic 60 Old Hall Street, formerly Ralli House, for a reduced £6.5m price tag after failing to secure a buyer at £8m a year ago.

The 50,000 sq ft building has gone from being a complete demolition and redevelopment opportunity to a retention and refurbishment due to rights to light issues with neighbouring buildings. There is still planning permission for a retail unit in an extension to the ground floor to fill in an existing undercroft.

The building is next to English Cities Fund's St Paul's Square office-led development in the heart of the commercial district. Interest is said to be keen among potential buyers as supply of prime sites is slim after several years of renewed investment activity.

Meanwhile, a fund managed by the financial giant Prudential has put the HSBC office and retail branch at 4 Dale Street and 1 Castle Street up for sale at £3.3m, a net initial yield of 5.73%.

The linked 17,400 sq ft building is fully let for the next 13 years to HSBC at a rent of £200,000 a year. Several offers have been received and the first round deadline closes this Friday.

The sale follows another deal on Castle Street, with Threadneedle selling 10-18 Castle Street for £2m to a Scottish investor in recent weeks.

Lastly, the 42,000 sq ft Stanley Building, owned by gaming group Stanley Leisure, is under offer for a price below the initial quoting figure of £5.5m. The reduced price reflects a mixture of the current buyer's market and also a settlement for repairs.

Stanley Leisure occupies 6,500 sq ft of the building and will remain a tenant going forward. Its Stanley Bet subsidiary relocated to Space Northwest's Mercury Court but retains another floor of 6,500 sq ft in Stanley Building.

Hitchcock, Wright & Partners and WHR are advising Commercial Estates; Mason Owen is advising both Stanley Leisure and Prudential on their sales. CB Richard Ellis advised Threadneedle.

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