An office building in Water Street with potential to be converted into 141 apartments has been brought to the market at a guide price of £4.5m by Hitchcock Wright & Partners, acting for a private client.
Drury House comprises 32,200 sq ft across seven storeys and could be extended to the rear along Drury Lane. The redevelopment proposal would comprise 108,600 sq ft in total if built out.
Hitchcock Wright said other commercial uses, such as a hotel, would also be suitable for the site. Brian Ricketts, partner at Hitchcock Wright & Partners, said: “This is a truly unique and rare opportunity to acquire something more than an existing building with refurbishment and conversion potential, which has been prevalent in the market in recent times. The additional adjacent development site gives a developer much further scope to create a new landmark building directly next to the iconic grade two-listed India Buildings.
“Whilst we are targeting the residential market we are not ruling out other commercial uses such as a hotel which the site would also lend itself to. There is a growing demand for high end city centre apartments and luxury accommodation for the city’s burgeoning tourist market.
“The amenities in the buildings vicinity, including the popular eateries on Castle Street, as well as the Pier Head and the Albert Dock makes a residential conversion or redevelopment hugely attractive; we have already had strong demand for this site.”
More than 1.2m sq ft of office stock in Liverpool has been lost to residential and other uses in the past 18 months, according to CBRE, and another 250,000 sq ft has been earmarked for conversion in 2017.
Total office stock in Liverpool has contracted from 7m sq ft to 5.8m sq ft, with 425,000 sq ft of available grade A and grade B space.
Landlords are starting to be more bullish as a result of reduced supply with headline rents pushing towards £20/sq ft more frequently and rent-free incentives shortening from 50% of lease length to 30%.
Take-up for the past year is expected to total around 350,000 sq ft when Professional Liverpool reports its annual research.
The last new office building completed in Liverpool was No 4 St Paul’s Square in July 2011 by English Cities Fund.
The only proposed office building with planning consent in the development pipeline in central Liverpool is Peel’s No 5 Princes Dock, totalling 81,000 sq ft, with no date set for a start on site.
Offices taken from the market in the past 18 months include 60 Old Hall Street, to Signature Living, and Martin’s Bank Building, to hotel developer Principal Hayley Group.