Manchester-based developer Cert Property has lodged an application to convert the 57,000 sq ft heritage building in Liverpool’s Ropewalks district into a hub for technology businesses.
Cert purchased the collection of four separate buildings at 91 and 105 Duke Street, the latter of which is Liverpool’s grade two-listed former public library, from shipping company Bibby Line Group for an undisclosed sum in December.
The family-owned marine business had occupied the property as its headquarters for a quarter of a century, but relocated to premises at Walker House, part of the wider 360,000 sq ft Exchange Flags office-led scheme in the city centre.
Cert has now submitted a listed building application to Liverpool City Council to convert the property into modern office space for technology businesses.
In its new guise as a creative workspace, the property has been renamed ‘Duke & Parr’, and interior designer Sheila Bird Group has been appointed to develop the brand and design concept.
Elevate Architects will work alongside Sheila Bird to deliver the scheme, while Workspace Design & Build has been appointed as main contractor and is already on site, undertaking initial stripping out works within the building.
Cert said it aims to “refurbish the collection of properties…[to] embrace the history and character of the building, with its historic fabric exposed and celebrated as part of the scheme.”
105 Duke Street was Liverpool’s first Public Library between 1852-60 and was grade II listed in 1975. It was later extended and became part of a warehouse belonging to Peter Walker in 1865. It was later occupied as the headquarters of Bibby Line Group.
Howard Lord, managing director of Cert Property, said: “The property has so many different elements to it, having been comprised of four different buildings around an amazing central atrium, which gives us the opportunity to create something really unique as a destination for people to work and play.
“We have some exciting plans and look forward to releasing more details of these plans in due course.”