Kinrise, backed by Karrev, bought the building in 2021. Credit: via Kinrise

Liverpool’s Martins Bank Building sold to Kinrise

The 210,000 sq ft landmark is being revived as an office building rather than a hotel after being on the market at a guide price believed to be £16m.

Kinrise would not disclose how much, exactly, it paid for the grade-two-listed structure.

Kinrise said it would immediately begin a multi-million-pound renovation of the space that would retain its character while bringing in technological upgrades. The company plans to turn the space into grade A offices for both small and large companies.

The ground floor, however, will be public. Kinrise said it wants the space to function as a venue for community events and exhibitions. Other plans include having a café and restaurant on the ground floor and an additional flexible workspace.

This marks the first entry into the Liverpool market for London-based Kinrise, which has five locations in Manchester: Canada House, Northern Assurance Building, Victoria Buildings, 2 Mount Street and 1 Central Street.

“Liverpool is a richly diverse and vibrant city and we have been looking for a site here for a number of years,” said Sam Lawson Johnston, co-founder of Kinrise. “Martins Bank Building meets all the specific requirements we look for in a building; central location, abundance of character, great natural light and volume of space – it is the perfect addition to our growing portfolio.

“The property is our largest site to date and we are looking forward to injecting a new lease of life into the building and sharing it with the local community and businesses.”

The grade-two-listed Martins Bank Building resides on 4 Water Street. Herbert Rowse designed the building, which has been part of the Liverpool cityscape since 1932. The building was slated to become a hotel in 2016 and again in 2019, but nothing ever came out of those plans.

A subsidiary of Starwood Capital owned the building prior to Kinrise. Savills was the agent for Starwood Capital on the deal. It is understood Kinrise was unrepresented.


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I worked in this fantastic building when it was martins bank then barclays bank with so many happy memories of colleagues when the world was a happier and less complex place.i am now getting on a bit and i look forward to the new owners doing the right thing by this wonderful eddifice before i snuff it. God bless all who are involved.

By Terry muddi

Fantastic sign of confidence for the city. Hopefully this will start wider investment into employment space.

By J

Wonderful news; this is a grand old building deserving of its place in history. Liverpool is in dire need of some more grade A office space, and opening the ground floor to the public will prove a great tourist attraction; the ceiling of the ground floor is something to behold and has been hidden for far too long.


Brilliant news. I feel that there has been too much change of use in the business district over recent years…loosing office footprints to residential or leisure use. How do attract jobs if there is no offices! No if the owners of the Il Palazzo building opposite Martins Buildimg can get their fingers out and do something with building too Water Street would be on the way back.

By Old Hall Street

Marvellous news, this is a magnificent building

By Anonymous

We need more office’s for more jobs for youngsters. This is glorious news for Liverpool!!

By Mary Woolley

Over the years.. various projects were put forward for this beautiful building…The last one..I think..was for the city’s first 5 star hotel…all came to nothing..I believe the interiors have been used in several film and television productions….whatever happens…these MUST be preserved..

By Tercol

One of the most beautiful buildings in Liverpool.

By Derek

One of the most beautiful buildings in the North , the only competition is within the city it was built, they just don’t make them like this anymore and no matter what you throw up it will never outdo such splendour and class.

By Anonymous

I worked there on security for over 10years it’s so good to hear its finally getting something sorted to get it back to its once glorious past, well done

By Sean

Am I seeing the same building? Externally at least it’s a fairly ugly ungainly looking lump. Granted, it’s probably nice inside.

By Specsaver

Worked in this lovely building when it was Barclays International Bank. So pleased to learn that it is going to be refurbished and used.


Worked in what was known as Liverpool City Office of Martins Bank for a good few years in the glorious fifties/sixties and will never forget the wonderful times I had. The staff restaurant on the eighth floor was particularly enjoyable and by todays standards cheap. Great to hear the building appears, at long last, to be in good hands for redevelopment.

By John Oliphant

Not a bad old lump. Reminds me of the Gotham Hotel on King St Manchester though not quite so grand. Good to see it being refurbished. its hard to make these old conversions cost in so hope they do a decent job.

By Anonymous

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