Pall Mall Green Square CGI
Kier and CTP's Pall Mall is on BT's shortlist

BT shortlists three for 100,000 sq ft Liverpool office

Charlie Schouten and Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The communications giant has shortlisted three options for a 100,000 sq ft base in Liverpool with a decision due to be made by the end of the year, Place North West understands.

BT has shortlisted options at Kier Property and CTP’s Pall Mall; the Knowledge Quarter; and Peel’s Princes Dock for its requirement, part of a UK-wide consolidation of its existing offices.

At the Knowledge Quarter, BT is understood to be looking at No5 Paddington Village, which was announced at this year’s MIPIM property conference in Cannes.

Developer Sciontec revealed proposals for a 160,000 sq ft office aimed at the creative and scientific sectors, but Place North West revealed earlier this week these plans are being tweaked to allow for larger floorplates of up to 17,000 sq ft in response to occupier interest.

BT has also shortlisted Liverpool Waters, where Peel has outline permission for up to 3.4m sq ft of commercial space. The most immediate option with planning permission would be a six-storey office block featuring floorplates of between 8,700 sq ft at ground floor level, up to around 10,700 sq ft on the upper floors; Peel submitted a reserved matters application for this block in the summer.

Kier Property and CTP’s Pall Mall, which secured planning permission this month, is also under consideration.

The first phase of the wider 400,000 sq ft development will include a 112,000 sq ft office, with floorplates of around 15,000 sq ft, and extensive public realm, along with a hotel, due to be operated by Leonardo. Construction is expected to begin next summer.

Two further office blocks are also planned in later phases.

BT’s relocation will see it move out of its existing office at Lancaster House on Old Hall Street; a decision in principle on the shortlist is expected by the end of the year.

The move in Liverpool is part of a wider consolidation of BT’s office, which has also seen the company set out plans for a new base in Manchester.

Place North West revealed in September BT had picked English Cities Fund’s New Bailey for its 200,000 sq ft requirement, beating two other shortlisted sites.

In preparation for its move, BT has signed a three-year deal with Regus’ co-working arm Spaces at 125 Deansgate. Under the deal, Spaces will manage the 116,000 sq ft office while BT prepares to move to a permanent base.

JLL is advising BT.

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Provided it goes through, this will be welcome news to the thousand plus people working for BT in the city. Their jobs have been put at risk of being “agglomerated” away from the city thanks to the dire lack of emphasis on commercial development by our local authorities, and it is notable that now we have two 100k sq ft occupiers vying for one single plot of readily available space. Not a good place for a city that wants to retain business, let alone grow.

Now that the government has increased the borrowing rate of its public works fund (still very affordable to councils who have made the most of their prior advantages and invested the money skillfully), and made it even more abundantly clear that in the future councils will only spend what their residents can earn, hopefully the authorities will come to conclude they have no choice but to facilitate success for their residents. And how incompatible that is with lording it over a “scruffs” economy of booze and hen parties.

How/if the city tries to drag things back now, though, will be interesting. Manchester’s business rates intake is now nearly double that of Liverpool, and that’s not even counting the surrounding boroughs that have similarly profited from Manchester’s success. Manchester gets to spend its gains on beautification, while Liverpool can’t afford to keep its streets clean. The past decade has been stagnant and wasted.

It’s a shame our city doesn’t have a political reporting newspaper to tackle the local authorities over their lack of performance. If we did, perhaps things right now would be different.

By Mike

Definitely better suited to Pall Mall or Princes Dock – and not Paddington Village. Paddington village has a definite brand and focus and BT does not fit that. It would not be good to dilute that brand.

By Anonymous

I agree with anons sentiments, but I suppose they have to chose a site that will be built?

By Busby

Well said Mike. The city has and is declining each day. Proper professional leadership is needed here.

By Anonymous

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