Plans to redevelop the Whitechapel retail and leisure scheme have been lodged with Liverpool City Council by Queensberry Real Estate, the scheme’s asset manager and developer on behalf of joint venture partner Bywater Properties.
The application follows news last month of boutique cinema operator Everyman signing as an anchor tenant.
Queensberry, in looking to replicate the success it had in turning Manchester’s Corn Exchange into a restaurant-led offer, is looking to add a further 20,000 sq ft of restaurant and café space into the Metquarter mix. Food and drink would thus make up 30,000 sq ft of the 130,000 sq ft at the scheme.
GL Hearn is advising on planning and K2 Architects is the architect for the scheme.
Much of the work involved will be in combining existing units to provide the larger spaces restaurant operators require – in one case, five existing units are to be melded into one unit suitable for an anchor restaurant or retail occupier, while in some cases two adjoining units will be combined.
Three kiosks are to be added at ground floor level. Externally, two double doors are to be added and two terraces inserted at the upper level.
Metquarter was launched in 2006 as a high-end retail destination, but struggled to cope with the impact of Liverpool ONE, which opened two years later. Formerly home to Liverpool General Post Office, the building was bought by Queensberry for £18m from Columbus UK Real Estate Fund in January 2016.
Liverpool City Council is yet to set a date to determine the application.