Bliss Investment Partners has acquired the 250-year head lease for Southport’s Waterfront development from Promenade Estates, a deal that follows its December takeover of the scheme-anchoring Ramada hotel.
Standing over the resort’s Marine Lake, the Waterfront is connected to the Southport Theatre & Convention Centre. Along with the 133-bedroom hotel, it is home to Genting Casino and a bar restaurant operated by Greene King.
Promenade, then known as Neptune Developments, delivered the scheme in 2008 for Sefton Council with the above elements and 53,684 sq ft of commercial space that has remained largely unused since.
Bliss has already set in motion plans to change that, partner Daniel Broch told Place North West: “Now we control the whole site we’re free to move our plans forward – we see it as a leisure-focused destination that was never fully seen through. A lot of the best spaces have never been occupied.
“With the theatre alongside, we need to get the various parts of the area working cohesively together and ramp up the sense of destination.”
Plans are being drawn up by Bliss’ design team, which is led by London-based EPR Architects, the lead architect recently on Soho House’s new The Ned hotel.
Further hotel accommodation is likely to be a part of the scheme. Broch, who in 2000 founded the Everyman cinema group, continued: “Hospitality will be at the centre of the scheme, but it needs to sit with complementary uses – we’re out there talking to people with alternative ideas, we want eclectic operators who want to be part of a community.
“We’ve got a lot of additional space to work with so expect to see some really exciting ideas and additions which will connect with a wide customer base across the region. This is going to be a ‘must see’ for Merseyside.”
The deal was supported by senior debt provider Santander with mezzanine funding arranged by Kenfin.