India Buildings

India Buildings heads list for Liverpool HMRC base

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

HM Revenue & Customs is understood to have selected India Buildings as the preferred location for its new Liverpool home, leasing the majority of the office space within the 350,000 sq ft landmark property.

The Government was also looking at new-build options of up to 250,000 sq ft at Liverpool City Council’s Pall Mall, and Peel’s Liverpool Waters. However, starting construction of a building from scratch was not considered viable due to the target move-in date of 2019.

The Government Property Unit is currently conducting a consolidation programme across its regional offices, going from hundreds of offices to 13 HMRC hubs as part of the drive to raise up to £5bn from estate disposals.

In Liverpool, HMRC currently occupies Graeme House, Regian House, Imperial Court and The Triad in Bootle.

The grade two-listed India Buildings was sold in January by Green Property to Shelborn Asset Management for £17m, and at the time was 80% vacant.

India Buildings dominates Liverpool’s traditional office district and occupies an entire block at Water Street and Brunswick Street in the heart of the commercial centre. The gross internal floor area is 500,000 sq ft and includes the Holt’s shopping arcade on the ground floor.

Green bought the property in 2009 as part of a portfolio of distressed Allied Irish Bank assets. AIB had financed the purchase of the building by previous owner Achilleas Kallakis’ Atlas Group, who was later found to have defrauded the bank out of £750m using false documents. Under Atlas’ ownership India Buildings suffered and numerous tenants left after maintenance fell behind. Kallakis paid £45m for India in 2004.

Quoted rent at India Buildings is £16.50/sq ft. However, the building would be extensively refurbished both internally and externally in advance of HMRC taking occupancy.

Worthington Owen is the agent for India, while JLL is advising the Government on its estate strategy.

Your Comments

Two comments; great news for Water Street and the CBD, a real slap in the face for Liverpool Waters.

By neil

Not a property comment – but was the building in fabulous beasts and where to find them? I know St George’s hall was but thought I saw flashes of this too?

By Mary Smiley

A truly beautiful building by the way, and hopefully a lot more can be done with the ground floor and the shops etc.!

By Mary Smiley

Yes a big boost for that area, isn’t this what Peel are accused of for LW’s waiting for people to come along to develop the site, sometimes it works sometimes it dosen’t, they can’t expect organaisations to hang about.

By Man on bicycle

Agreed on LW Neil. But fantastic news none the less that this Grande Dame has found a new lease of life.

By BalticBlue

in response to Mary’s question – St Georges Hall (city hall), Martin’s Bank (bank) and Cunard Building (macy’s department store). India Building was not featured in the movie.

By fantasticbeast

Bootle Strand will be decimated where they are now.

There is talk that they want to close down the right of way that has been there since they built the building over Chorley Street.
They cant do that.

By Dr Anthony Small

Surely they won’t close the shopping arcade to the public? Wonderful Travertine marble, one of Liverpool’s gems.

By Stella

Let’s hope they open up the arcade on Saturdays and Sundays so that weekend visiters can finally enjoy this magnificent landmark arcade shops.

By Peter Gregory

@Mary Smiley
The Martin’s Bank Building just up the street featured heavily in the Fantastic Beasts movie, particularly the interior as the old banking hall was used for the bank scenes.

It’s a shame this can’t kick start a new build development, but I hope it can reduce office stock so that a new commercial building can be developed in Pall Mall or Prince’s Dock.

By nathan

If they closed the building. This would be a massive loss for Liverpudlians who are so proud of their rich maritatime heritage.

By Mike Tapp

It has been an annual ritual for me to visit the beautiful Arcade in all its glory with the festive decorations. There are no decorations this year. Bah humbug.This will be a huge loss for Liverpool.

By A Coulter

Very embarrassing for Liverpool Waters. Losing out to a historic, inefficient building; owned by a prop co rather than a developer. Can only think the development team are set on residential schemes.

By Anon

This kind of ‘fits’ for HMRC doesn’t it? It has that Whitehall kind of look.

By Zebith

People complaining because HMRC chose the best value for money property option? Really? Property forum or not, it’d have been wrong for them to have paid much more / sq ft to finance a new build.

India is a great building and it’s good to see it being used in such a way. If “Bagels” is still on the ground floor I bet the owner will be happy!

By Taxman

One of the major considerations for any building is public transport access. India Buildings is ideally placed, James St station and Moorfields both a short walk away, handy for Lime St. Buses not far away (some actually stop outside). No major changes for people currently in offices in the city centre. For people relocating from Bootle or further out, not a huge drama, just keep travelling for another few stops.
Liverpool Waters – how do you get there from anywhere that isn’t Liverpool Waters? Most staff are going to be on public transport, so you can add a good 30 minute walk from Moorfields / James St and the buses, and the city centre shops. Non starter.

By IT Person

nice to know Bootle will suffer the 3000 job losses and Liverpool gains. so much for unity with the Liverpool City Region. shame on our MPs who havent signed the edm (Peter Dowd, MP for Bootle)

By Paul Cooke

That is amazing news for the City. I agree with IT Person. A letting of this size at Wirral Waters benefits no-one other than Peel whereas this deal at India Buildings is not only a great use for this iconic building but it will also transform the once great Water Street which is currently a shadow of its former self. Think of the spin offs for the City – 3000 new bodies all going for lunch, shopping in L1, buying bagels etc.. HMRC should be congratulated for making such a sensible decision.

By John

This is a fantastic solution for HMRC that provides a competitive, functional solution within a landmark building at the centre of Liverpool with excellent access to public transport/amenities etc. It is also fantastic news for Liverpool in restoring one of the city’s great office buildings and, even more importantly, in breathing life to a location that has become bereft of life. This is the heart of Liverpool and needs to be thriving before the city is extended to the north. It should be applauded.

By to be applauded

The streets around there are fairly depressing and lifeless at the moment. Hopefully this will give the area the shot in the arm or so desperately needs.

By Tithebarney

Brilliant news. This awesome building doesn’t deserve to be left dormant for any longer. Looking forward to seeing it bustling with life again!

By Eric

Is it just me or is it quite refreshing to hear of a vacant office building actually being taken as an office instead of being converted into flats or a hotel. Great news for the City. Well done to all concerned.

By Anne

I used to work in India buildings and I’ve been very sad to see it’s decline over recent years. What great news!

By Liz

What a great result for the business district in Liverpool. Water Street has seen a number of conversions into alternative use and this stops the rot. Jobs and investment into a jewel in the crown of our great city. Well done all involved.

By BTR

Good news for Liverpool bad news for NORTH WALES as all offices will close

By Gail Greenaway

Glad something is finally being done to restore this great building back to its former glory. Too bad though they’re going to close the arcade off to the public and kick out the poor shopkeepers. How cruel. I also find it strange that HMRC will pay tens of millions in rent to Marwees Ltd (based in the British Virgin Islands for tax purposes). Aren’t they supposed to clamp down on tax dodgers, not line their pockets even more!

By Tony

Interesting, that the Liverpool Regional HMRC Office is to be in the City Centre. The HMRC Regional Office in Newcastle is in the Suburbs, in the Heaton Area of Newcastle, and it has more than 10,000 people working there, easily the largest HMRC Regional Office. That occupies some ELEVEN building at the “Benton Park View” Office Complex. Different from Liverpool !!

By Peter Kane

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