MIPIM UK: Liverpool ‘running numbers’ on Liver building bid

Liverpool City Council is considering putting in a bid to buy the Royal Liver Building at Pier Head, on the market for £40m, weeks after the city approved plans to sell its Municipal Buildings as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

Speaking to Place North West at MIPIM UK, Ged Fitzgerald, chief executive of the council, said: “We are currently running the figures to see if we can put a pitch in.

“We think the uses in Royal Liver can be flexed, and would work for a mix of commercial, hotel, or statement leisure uses, like we’ve done at the Cunard.”

Royal London announced earlier this week that it was selling the iconic Royal Liver Building for the first time in its 100-year history.

The Cunard Building sits next to the Royal Liver and is another landmark of the city. Liverpool City Council bought a long-lease on the 285,000 sq ft block in 2014 for £10m, disposing of its interest in Millennium House, and The Capital, and relocating hundreds of staff to the waterfront site.

To continue to save on costs, last month the council announced it was selling its 130,000 sq ft Municipal Buildings, and would move staff to the Cunard building by next summer “to make budget cuts”.

When asked how the council would fund the purchase of the Liver Building, Fitzgerald said it was “open to suggestions around partnership agreements”.

The Liver Building is 380,000 sq ft, with 100,000 sq ft currently vacant.

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Why are they doing this

By Elephant

about time kept to delivering its statutory duties and leave property speculation to others. Fitzgerald clueless.

By John Brown

To make the most of the building for the city and its residents. Its called regeneration.

By Sir Rod

Sir Rod I understand the need for regeneration but surely there are more pressing areas than the Royal Liver Building? I would expect a building such as this, as it has to date, to flourish in the hands of a private investor.

By Obv

Its such an asset to the city that I suppose LCC see themselves as best custodian of it.

By Sir Rod

In isolation and given its importance to the City as its landmark building, I can appreciate the sentiment ; but in the context of budget cuts and the selling off of the Municipal Building amongst others then it does seem absurd.

Notwithstanding, building is too good to not be used for something exceptional.

By Tonto

Municipal buildings will probably benefit from some private cash being thrown at them. The Hilton and ALoft Hotel round the corner are a great examples of this. Liver Building is special and seems fitting that the Council should have control of it

By Sir Rod

Not happy about this, there are parts of Liverpool in desperate need of council investment and they want to spend our money on a building that most Liverpudlians never go near?

By Prudence

The council are committed to more social housing. They are investing in both the city centre/high paid jobs, and looking after the less well-off elsewhere. Manchester seems to only do the first (which, admittedly, it is very good at).

By Sir Rod

Here we go again! How can LCC be allowed to do this? I imagine they will fit it out then decide its not fit for purpose and poss sell at a loss as the story has gone/goes.

By Mary Smiley

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