Liverpool City Council is set to buy the freehold of Kings Dock for a nominal £1 sum as it looks to create a “world-class, vibrant leisure-based mixed-use destination” at the waterfront site.
The council acquired the leasehold of the site in 2017 but is now looking to buy the freehold, a move which will allow it to have greater control over how the site is developed.
Under the move, the council’s freehold ownership will include the Liverpool Arena; the exhibition and convention centre; the former multi-storey car park, now demolished after being severely damaged by a fire in 2017; and vacant land bordered by Monarchs Quay and Half-Tide Wharf.
Government offices to the south are not included in the council’s purchase.
The move will allow the council to develop what it says is a “vibrant leisure-based mixed-use destination,” potentially sounding the final death knell for proposals to build a 45,000 sq ft office on the site.
Developer YPG had proposed building the office for The Contact Company, a call centre business owned by Liverpool LEP chairman Asif Hamid, prompting a backlash from the development community.
The land was originally suggested to be used for options including an “Olympic-standard ice rink, extreme sports centre, and quality restaurants,” according to the LEP.
A masterplan for Kings Dock was put forward in 2017 with a focus on tourism use. Liverpool’s cabinet has been recommended to approve the freehold purchase when it meets next week.
Elsewhere within Kings Dock, a replacement multi-storey car park for its fire-damaged counterpart was approved in October last year. The nine-level car park is to provide 1,640 spaces and is currently being built by contractor Willmott Dixon.