Marcus Worthington Group has applied for planning permission to convert the grade two-listed building next to Liverpool’s Lime Street station back into a hotel.
The building closed as a hotel 80 years ago, and the developer has worked with architect Leach Rhodes Walker on a £30m project to redevelop it into a 202-bedroom hotel with bar, restaurant, gym and meeting rooms.
An international hotel operator has been lined up to take on the building, subject to planning consent, with Worthington hopeful of announcing the deal later this summer. The intention is for an opening date in 2020.
Designed by Sir Alfred Waterhouse and opened in 1871, what was known as the North Western Hotel was used as office space following its closure as a hotel in 1933.
For the last 22 years it has been used as student accommodation, until Worthington acquired the property from Liverpool John Moores University earlier this year.
Russell Worthington, development director for Marcus Worthington Group, said: “The North Western was part of that great series of railway hotels which also included The Midland in Manchester and the St Pancras Midland in London.
“It’s a building deserving of its original intended purpose as a railway hotel and it will benefit the city to have it back in public use for people to enjoy after many decades of being used privately.
“We’re working with a high-quality hotel and lifestyle brand on this project, a brand that can add real energy to the area and improve the visitor experience.
“The project will preserve historical features of the hotel and, in some instances, restore features that were hidden during the building’s last refurbishment. It will help to conserve this important heritage asset for many more decades to come.”
The project team includes Turley as heritage and planning consultant, Fairhurst as structural consultant, Hoare Lea as M&E consultant, Fisher Acoustics, and Vectos as transport planner. Jenics was engaged in the bid to secure a hotel operator.