Woods Bagot's Watson Building hotel

Merepark/Ballymore get go-ahead for £50m Watson hotel

A joint venture between Merepark and Ballymore has won planning consent to refurbish and extend the Watson Building, a Grade II-listed building next to the Lewis's department store in Liverpool city centre.

The Watson building will be extended onto the site of the former Rapid Hardware paint shop to form a 170,000 sq ft, 180 bedroom, four star-plus hotel designed by architects Woods Bagot.

Merepark director Ian Jones said an international hotel operator has already been secured but no name has been released yet.

The £50m scheme will include adding two floors to the existing seven and installing underground parking, accessible from Cropper Street.

The consent adds to existing permissions for the wider £105m Central Village between Bold Street and Renshaw Street on surplus Network Rail land and incorporating the Lewis's building.

Jones said: "The Watson Building is a key element within the Central Village project, which will form one of the largest regeneration schemes in Liverpool.

"This announcement comes only two months after the council granted planning permission for the redevelopment of the Lewis's building.

Stephen Reinke from Woods Bagot, the architect behind both Central Village and proposals for the Watson building, commented: "These plans are all about the business of place making.

"The urban fabric of this site where Ropewalks and Mount Pleasant meet at the historic Newington Crossing dates back as far as the late 1700s. The architectural composition within this planning proposal plays on the classical ordering of the adjacent building with an exuberant 21st Century companion."

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Further images of this amazing scheme can be found at http://www.diffuse3d.com

By Matt Tours

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