Architect Falconer Chester Hall has released images of the proposed development at Monarch’s Quay, part of Liverpool’s Kings Dock site that is set to house a 45,000 sq ft call centre for The Contact Company in its first phase.
See further images below
The 11-acre plot is the final part of the southern dock system to be developed, and the decision to base a call centre there was greeted with hostility by developers questioning whether the arrangement with TCC represents best use of a prime waterfront site and a public asset, and whether Liverpool City Council had marketed the site sufficiently to the private market.
Wirral-based TCC is working with the council and development partner YPG to build the office. A planning application was submitted at the end of August. The new images and a video featuring praise from the development partners, consultants and Liverpool footballer-turned-pundit Jamie Carragher was launched at MIPIM UK today.
The city council’s overall vision for the wider site is to deliver a mixed-use development which would create a new leisure, commercial and retail destination on the city’s waterfront.
Although the council stressed that no decisions have been made over the make-up of the site’s leisure element, further phases could include a 2,000-seat ice rink, it said, adding that a winter garden, ten pin bowling and a virtual reality leisure centre are also being considered.
The intention is for the site, currently used for surface parking, to be developed in three phases, with 120 apartments, a ‘heritage interpretation centre’ and a car park anchoring phase two; with 280 homes, a winter garden and improved public realm in phase three. The council bought the site from the HCA earlier this year, using most of a £6m pot from the Regional Growth Fund.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “The Kings Dock is the final piece of the jigsaw in our vision for this part of the waterfront. This transformation will help link the existing waterfront assets with the Baltic Triangle and significantly boost employment in the city.”
YPG chief executive Ming Yeung said: “Our ambition is to help the city to deliver a new riverside destination, aiding the visitor economy and creating jobs for local people.
“We will be ensuring the highest quality design, build and fit-out for what is a unique location. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the city council and The Contact Company to help bring forward such a significant development.”
Along with issues over the site’s use, further criticism was levelled at potential conflicts of interest between personal interests and public duties. Asif Hamid, chief executive and owner of The Contact Company, chairs the Liverpool City Region LEP, and acknowledged the potential conflict in the LEP’s register of members’ interests last year. Ex-Grosvenor man Chris Bliss, who has been appointed as the scheme’s project director by YPG, is also on the LEP board, serving as visitor economy champion.
Questions were also raised over the promotion of the Kings Dock for offices, when the city’s traditional office core has been in the doldrums, the one-off deal with the Government Property Unit at India Buildings notwithstanding.
The council responded to the various questions over Monarch’s Quay in September. The Contact Company expects to open its doors by the end of 2018.
The LEP and Hamid have not responded to requests for comment.
- MIPIM UK coverage is brought to you in association with Willmott Dixon. Place North West can be found on stand H34