As it looks to combat a shortfall in offices, the city council’s plan for the commercial district will head to public consultation, with the proposed framework identifying the need to deliver up to 2m sq ft of commercial space over the next decade.
Under the strategic regeneration framework for the commercial business district, the council, working with Arup, architect Shedkm, Worthington Owen, and heritage consultant Rob Burns, has identified a number of sites for potential development. The council has jointly commissioned the SRF with the Liverpool BID.
The SRF area covers an area from Mann Island in the south, heading up to Brook Street and Princes Dock to the north, and taking in areas such as Old Hall Street, Chapel Street, Dale Street, Tithebarn Street, and the waterfront.
The draft SRF shows 12 sites that could provide additional commercial development. These include Princes Dock, which has outline planning consent for 615,000 sq ft of offices, and the King Edward Triangle, while also has outline consent for 918,000 sq ft of commercial space.
Elsewhere, the Seat dealership on Leeds Street has been identified to house a mid-to-high rise commercial office scheme; within the CBD, the Rumford Street car park, and a plot next to Moorfields station have also been identified for offices.
A vacant plot off North Street has also been flagged as a development opportunity, along with the former Trinity Mirror printing room and car park on Brook Street, and the Court Building on Derby Square.
The draft SRF identifies the need for as much as 2m sq ft of offices over the Local Plan period, which runs to 2033. Under the SRF, any proposals for anything other than offices or commercial space on these plots is likely to be resisted by the council.
Existing buildings and developments have also been earmarked for offices; these include the Bank of England building on Castle Street; Beetham Court, a 12,000 sq ft office on Tithebarn Street; the 180,000 sq ft BT Building on Old Leeds Street; and the 83,000 sq ft Imperial Court on Exchange Street East.
The SRF argued there had been “falling stock levels and a lack of any new Grade A office space” since the delivery of No4 St Paul’s Square.
“The city is now in desperate need of high quality offices to not only accommodate the growth of its existing occupier base but perhaps more importantly enable it to secure footloose occupier requirements and therefore grow as a commercial centre and become known as a national leader in office attractiveness,” said the document.
The report also flagged the lack of larger floor plates in the city, with most corporate occupiers requiring floor plates of around 15,000 sq ft.
“With dwindling levels of supply, floorplates such as this are becoming increasingly rare and this potentially forms another barrier to the future success of the commercial core and the city’s ability to compete with other cities throughout the UK.”
Consultation events will be held on the SRF at the following dates and times:
- Thursday 20 June, 10am-3pm, RIBA, Mann Island
- Wednesday 26 June 2pm-7pm, One Fine Day, Old Hall Street
- Monday 1 July, 10am-3pm, One Fine Day, Old Street
- Wednesday 10 July, 2pm-7pm, RIBA, Mann Island
Upcoming developments include Kier Property and CTP’s plans for a £200m commercial scheme at Pall Mall, set to provide up to 400,000 sq ft of offices. Liverpool City Council’s cabinet will look to sign off the consultation at a meeting on Friday 7 June.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool’s commercial business district is a major engine in the city’s economy and its future growth needs to be proactively managed to maximise its potential.
“The supply of Grade A office space is critical to any successful city centre seeking to attract quality investors and jobs which is why we need a long-term vision which this Spatial Regeneration Framework will underpin.
“This is a critical piece of work because we all need to ensure the district remains a vital cog in our commercial economy for the next 20 years and beyond.
“Arup and the team have set out an approach that addresses these challenges in a way that will underpin the future of one our major employment zones and I look forward to this vital document being debated and discussed across the city to help shape its direction.”
Ian Ford, Arup’s project lead, added: “We are passionate in making Liverpool’s CBD a unique and exciting location for businesses to come and invest. Not many Cities have a CBD with the same qualities Liverpool does and the SRF looks to build on these assets to attract high value, high skilled jobs that will support the City’s growth objectives.
“We have produced a vision which looks to enhance public realm and connectivity whilst identifying future opportunity plots for commercial office space. All this aims to create a vibrant, sustainable place for businesses, residents and visitors.”