Developer Augur Group has hired architect 3DReid to draw up plans for 200 homes as part of the wider mixed-use scheme, reducing the amount of retail space previously proposed.
However, a planning application for the Circus, to be located on land behind the Lewis’s Building off Bold Street and next to Liverpool Central Station, is not expected until next year, Augur’s chief executive Simon Mann told Place North West.
Mann added that the 275,000 sq ft of retail space proposed when the Circus was first unveiled in 2018 would be significantly reduced to make way for the residential scheme, which is to feature upwards of 200 units.
Last week, Augur won approval to expand the range of uses permitted within the 400,000 sq ft for Lewis’s department store building on Renshaw Street, with a view to converting former retail into offices or to accommodate leisure companies.
The redevelopment of Lewis’s, known as the Department, would “deliver a meaningful mix of uses that are aligned with modern requirements and market demand”, according to a planning statement by consultancy Quod.
As part of the scheme, Augur is planning to convert some of the former retail space into a 50,000 sq ft hotel, adding to the 126-bedroom Adagio, which is located within the west wing of the building fronting Ranelagh Street.
Talks with a hotel operator are for the new space ongoing, Mann said.
The redevelopment of Lewis’s and the five acres to the rear of the building have been in the pipeline for more than a decade. Developers Merepark and Ballymore had advanced plans for a scheme called Central Village on the land between Lewis’s and the station with various designs proposed and restaurant operators including Nando’s and Harvester signed up.
However, the project suffered numerous delays and was never advanced.