Exchange Flags enjoys year of revival

The new owner of the 450,000 sq ft Exchange Flags in Liverpool has completed 35,000 sq ft of deals in the past 12 months with more in the pipeline for the remainder of 2015.

Liverpool Exchange FlagsThe city centre landmark between Old Hall Street, the Town Hall and Castle Street is split into two linked wings, Walker House and Horton House.

The larger part, Walker House at 234,000 sq ft, had 146,000 sq ft of vacant space when the Flags were acquired in 2014 by Lone Star and now has 119,000 sq ft. Horton House totals 130,000 sq ft and was acquired with 24,000 sq ft of empty space, now reduced to 16,000 sq ft.

The 16,000 sq ft sixth floor of Walker was split into five smaller suites from 1,500 sq ft to 4,000 sq ft. Two suites have been let and two are under offer. The seventh floor is likely to be split next as part of the ongoing works at the building. Around £250,000 has been spent since acquisition in 2014, carpeting empty floors to make them more attractive to viewers and restoring balconies among the improvements.

The rental tone at the Flags is around £15/sq ft for smaller suites. Talks are ongoing over 15,000 sq ft of further deals across the asset, which includes retail and leisure space at ground level.

Among recent deals sandwich shop Philpotts renewed its 1,500 sq ft lease, and Southport restaurateur Paul Adams confirmed he will be opening a Vincent Café & Cocktail Bar in a 6,000 sq ft unit in May. Solicitor Jackson & Canter took 16,547 sq ft in Walker House on a 13-year lease in one of the largest lettings in Liverpool in the past year.

In addition, recruitment agency Bluefire Consulting committed to a new six-year lease in a 4,125 sq ft suite at Horton House after outgrowing Regus serviced office space in the same building. County Cost Consultants also moved out of Regus space into a 2,600 sq ft office of its own. Leonard Curtis Recovery signed for 1,600 sq ft on the sixth floor of Walker House.

Meanwhile, the public square has also been addressed, with Capital Properties, the public realm manager behind Spinningfields in Manchester, appointed to bring the Flags to life. An outdoor theatre is planned for August.

CBRE and Keppie Massie are the letting agents.

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It really is an amazing area and quite a hidden gem! Really great that it is being revived as absolutely beautiful.

By Mary Magee