Ability completes Hilton purchase at Liverpool One

Andreas Panayiotou's Ability Group has confirmed its widely predicted £60m acquisition of the Hilton hotel currently being built as part of Grosvenor's Liverpool One project.

The new hotel will be situated at the southern edge of the rebuilt Chavasse Park when it opens in 2009. Hilton's first hotel in Liverpool will comprise 216 bedrooms, as well as 47 apartments and is held on a 150-year leasehold from Liverpool City Council, at a peppercorn rent.

Liverpool One will feature 1.6m sq ft of retail, two hotels, 600 apartments, 3,000 parking spaces and a five-acre park across 43 acres of Liverpool city centre. The first retail-led phases are due to open next spring.

Grosvenor's grand project is valued at £950m but is already £140m over budget. The developer-investor is expected to dispose of further isolated parts of the scheme in the coming year to recoup costs.

Panayiotou created Ability Group in 1996 and it has so far built up £1bn of residential asset in the UK. Ability recently started to expand into commercial property and has spent £106m on European hotels and has £70m to spend on German retail.

Ability was advised by law firm Taylor Wessing, tax specialist Chilterns and accountant Langley. Grosvenor was represented by CMS Cameron McKenna and CB Richard Ellis Hotels.

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