Former John Lewis in Liverpool , Landlab Developments, p planning

Curious is the architect for the hotel conversion of the former John Lewis department store. Credit: via planning documents

Liverpool’s former George Henry Lee building tipped for hotel conversion

The city council’s planning committee has been recommended to approve Landlab Developments’ application to create a 175-bed luxury hotel off Williamson Square.

Situated at 20-48 Basnett Street, the site has long been designated for retail. The current structure was constructed for the George Henry Lee department store company in the late 1800s. John Lewis took over the 153,2000 sq ft building in 1940, before vacating the spot in 2008 in favour of Liverpool ONE. Currently, Poundland operates out of 14,000 sq ft of the building.

Under Landlab’s plans, the building would hold 175 bedrooms, of which 5% would be wheelchair accessible and another 5% suitable for those with mobility impairments.

The two basement levels of the building would be shifted into a leisure use, while the ground floor would hold not only the hotel lobby but also a bar and restaurant. Designs by architect Curious also show a seventh-floor external terrace, as well as a sky bar and restaurant on the sixth floor.

The hotel would be managed by the French hospitality company Accor, according to a planning statement by Roman Sumner Associates.

Liverpool City Council is set to vote on the planning application on 24 October. You can learn more about the proposals by searching reference number 23F/1800 on the city council’s planning portal.

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Hope this gets approval as church street is becoming a concern it has some poor retail outlets. Its become a very poor relation to L1. The Municipal Hotel has quickly become a major asset for the city its magnificent , and also managed by Accor .

By Paul M - Woolton

Really hope this hotel plan goes ahead as it’s a much loved building which needs better than Poundland. Basnett Street was a lovely street once with fine shops like John Manners but the expansion of M&S ended that. It is to be hoped that the city planners are working collaboratively with developers to reconfigure the M&S site into something of quality, personally I would like to see Compton House as a hotel again, and then the modern section of the old M&S either demolished or turned into a quality food market along with bars, though maybe that is expecting a lot as the building is 2 storeys above a ground floor.

By Anonymous

The Novotel in Paddington Village has adapted rooms for those with greater mobility needs – which is a godsend to visitors and families to the city who might not be able to travel otherwise – whether it be to see their family graduate at the universities etc or just a visit. But this is good news and needs further thought as 5% isn’t a lot.
Agree with the comments re Church St – and really the City Council should be trying to encourage more of the Flannels element to the area – and thinking about Williamson Square – links to the museums and galleries etc.

By Lizzy Baggot

Wonderful news. Those cheap retailers have despoiled the wonderful name of George Henry Lee’s a store. I was taken to over the years for school uniform and other things.

By Suzanna Byrne

I think the new Hotel and Casino is the perfect choice for the GH Lee Building because Department Stores aren’t really a huge deal anymore, and so the building probably would have been hard to sell anyway and a Hotel would be great for visitors! I remember shopping in this store when It was John Lewis and Rapid, and still shop at Poundland’s and TKMaxx! I wonder if tkmaxx and Poundland will close down or stay open?

By Logan Landry

@ Logan, the TKMaxx will not be affected as it’s in a different building even though there was basement access and a bridge access previously to both.
John Lewis kept the building smart but once Rapid moved in and then later Poundland things declined swiftly.
The council keep talking about a new era for Williamson Square but need to get on with it , as we have a historic theatre there which should be a centrepiece to greatness. This new hotel will help, and the people who run the Italian Quarter are doing great things and are showing people what could be achieved with vision,style, and hard graft.

By Anonymous

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