Romal Central Docks January 2019 2

Romal unveils vision for ‘little Amsterdam’ in Liverpool

Charlie Schouten

Gregory Malouf, chief executive at developer Romal Capital, has unveiled a vision for an expanded residential offering at Liverpool’s Central Dock featuring 646 apartments and commercial space, aimed at creating “a little Amsterdam in the heart of Liverpool”.

The developer has put forward a planning application for the site, which is Plot C02 at Liverpool Waters, featuring six blocks, two of which are 14 storeys with the remainder at 10 storeys.

Designed by architect Ollier Smurthwaite, the 10-storey blocks are clad in red brick while the two taller blocks are clad in white stone.

The developer’s intention is to create a “waterfront parkland” with extensive public realm, while there will also be a total of 2,500 sq ft of commercial or retail space at ground floor.

Subject to planning approval, Romal is aiming to start work this year and complete in 2021, to fit with the completion of the nearby Isle of Man ferry terminal, scheduled for the same year.

Malouf said: “Enabling unused dock space to be developed will unlock the key to creating a northern waterfront community which connects to the success of the Liverpool’s existing multi-use waterfront by enhancing accessibility, connectivity and public space in the city centre.

“We are building on living waters, so it is incredibly important to focus on liveability first and foremost as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to contribute to the success of a continuing thriving and dynamic city.

Romal Central Docks January 2019 1

“We are ensuring that the public and residents will benefit from lots of green space and anyone who enters the park can walk, cycle or get a water taxi along the rest of the waterfront.”

“We want people to access what is currently off-limits to the public and give them the opportunity to stroll freely down the waterfront, take a leisurely bike ride or water-taxi to the Albert Dock for a coffee, or walk to the proposed Everton Stadium on match days.”

Malouf added the scheme was designed to fit in with Quay Central, its 108-bed eight-storey apartment block, which is due to complete later this year. The developer is also on site at the second phase, Park Central, where work began in November last year.

“Romal has the vision which dates back to my days of developing in Sydney, Australia and I want to create a little Amsterdam in the heart of Liverpool,” he added.

“It’s about building a community and attracting those who desire a safe and welcoming place, alongside those needing family focused city centre living within an attractive waterfront parkland.”

The Central Docks site falls within Liverpool Waters, where there are plans to bring forward 3,800 homes, nearly 1.7m sq ft of offices, a park, and 269,000 sq ft of retail, restaurants, and leisure, designed to sit with the existing Waterloo Warehouse.

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This looks great. I especially love the stone clad buildings. Nice clean lines are welcome and these won’t look dated in 10 years.

By Anonymous

Looking great i like the way Liverpool has it’s own identity

By Jan

Little Amsterdam indeed! Liverpool falls for so many of these bluff merchants it’s untrue.

By John Smith

@JohnSmith #jealous

By Jan

I’d be jealous of Amsterdam too, great city, better than living here.


MORE boxy buildings for liverpool really starting to look drab now! hope they do something better across the water in Birkenhead, cheshire.


Birkenhead, Cheshire haha! Calling it Cheshire doesn’t make it better! You’d have to call Liverpool “Lancashire” for that to have any relevance.

The designs are okay. Just hope Liverpool doesn’t end up looking like a Manchester sort of drab place

By Everywhere is Cheshire

Reminds me more of Old Hamburg warehouse area, they seem a bit to close to each other for my likening.

By On the Dock

Liverpool certainly draws the trolls out lol

By Livercool

Why do scousers have this obsession with Manchester, every comments section a scouser starts going on about Manchester.

By Why?

You have to be kidding me? This looks as though it has been designed solely with a ruler and could be built out of lego. Amsterdam it is not.

By Acelius

If only they had the Waterfront – mancs are obsessed with Liverpool

By Livercool

This looks great.

By Elephant

@Bywhy Dont Make us laugh people down the M62 all they do is troll Liverpool and put it down it goes back years – because it’s a much prettier place to be, and that’s the truth.

By don

Everything seems to be falling into place in Liverpool Waters, these are decent, they’ll make a great place to live. You’ve either got a river view or a views over the dock, I couldn’t ask for more personally. These should be completed in line with the ferry terminal and the cruise liner terminal, not a bad sight to wake up to each day.

By Anonymous

Look fine ….brick and colour seem suspect good balance with Albert Dock on the other side of the pier head

By Graham Burgess

Will there be a wacky baccy shop?

By Chongo Bongo

@Bywhy deluded

By Jack

No wonder Channel 4 chose Leeds



By McNulty

Dull architecture in a great location, such a missed opportunity.

By Lenny1968

@Lenny1968 That will always happen when they try to blend in with historic warehouses in a world heritage site. As they move further north, developments should improve…in theory.

By Anonymous

Anyone know what the giant bidet is on the left hand side …….?

By Tom H

I like it. Exactly what we need down there, goes with the grain of the place and should help create something distinctive reinforcing the canal side ambience around Stanley Dock and Waterloo Dock.

By Roscoe

Looks good, why not include a few towers of 35 and 45 storeys like Sydney/Vancouver/Chicago/New York

By ANon

good write up. Looks and sounds like it will have lots of outdoor options on the water. Affordable living on a great site. It may not please everyone but willl certainly please a lot with a community at your door step.

By Sharon davidson

@ANon they’re planning to eventually.

@ Tom H that’s not an actual proposal but they’re considering what they refer to as a cultural building for that site once the area is developed further.

By Anonymous

The donut thing/bidet is awful what is it? The orangeish buildings look better and look like trying to blend. Lets hope there are some coffee shops too! Liverpool is already a fantastic place/day out night out!

By Mary Smiley

Anonymous – thanks for clarifying the thinking behind the bidet, ie not much : it jars horribly with the overall view. Hasn’t anyone thought of a Riverside Park – visit Chicago, see how it can be done

By Tom H

Anyone else notice the Manchester Deansgate towers in the visual!!

By Anonymous

Looks absolutely vile. Where did the architect get his idea from ? It looks like a living hell for the residents all packed and squashed together like battery hens.

By Geoff

Enough docks are filled in now so don’t fill in any more especially Waterloo otherwise that will ruin a very significant historical site. The plans drawn up are very bland and do not fit in to the existing concept of a waterfront development. Or put simply it will be the case “what waterfront” nobody can see it.

By Geoff

The plans include a “partial “ fill in of West Waterloo Quay. A disgrace.
We need to save our beautiful Quays enough have been filled in. Shame on you Liverpool City just so you can squash more residential boxes in. The Quay should be preserved and only the Isle of Mann ferry terminal need go there if it must.

By Jan

@Jan partial infilling was always part of the approved plan, you need to pay attention.

By Anonymous

No mention of back filling a historic dock to build your Amsterdam people come to this city to see Liverpool not Amsterdam

By Brian Jones

Why would you want to have these boxes on the riverside. People entering liverpool on a cruise ship want to see the historic docks and warehouses. Liverpool should want to be unique. Monstrous buildings like these can be built anywhere. Why does the dock need to be partly infilled when there is so much wasteland around.

By Catherine

Partial infill of the Dock isn’t approved yet and should not be!

By Annomaous

Horrible square monsters, no respect for the historic buildings or heritage… ugly and boring architecture that will look awful in 10 yrs… a complete missed opportunity to do something great in such prime location … very sad

By Ana

I think these look great; right size for their position as well.

By Chris

These are nondescript characterless buildings that obscure the character of Liverpool’s historical waterfront. The Grade II Listed Building that you cannot see on the image represents Liverpool and it’s maritime past not these atypical constructions that can be found in any city across the world. Come on wake up.

By totally baffled

@Totally Baffled. The Waterloo Warehouses are set way back and are already obscured by the 1990s blocks. I think you’re gonna stay totally baffled.

By Roscoe

Yeah let’s squeeze as many apartments as possible into an area that should NOT be touched!. Historical areas should NOT be replaced with shoebox apartments that maximises profit for GREEDY DEVELOPERS who don’t care about Liverpools waterfront history

By Ste

Horrendous generic Lego blocks ! Boxing in Historic warehouse An destroying wild life ! With no respect of Waterloo Quay residents quality of life !

By Angry

Haha Waterloo luxury flat owning nimbys trying to dress up concern about thier property prices as concern about heritage. Never complained about any docks being filled in before until it impacted their view….this area needs further development to make it vibrant.


There are numerous beautiful vacant buildings all along the dock road mostly owned by peel holding, these buildings could be transformed into prestigious homes alongside commercially viable projects, it makes no sense to build four matchbox monstrosities which no one in their right mind could ever defend as being an improvement to the Liverpool skyline. The people responsible have no links to Liverpool and have no interest in maintaining our liverpool heritage their only interest is making money regardless of the detrimental effect it has on the local community. Anyone can Take a walk around the immediate vicinity of these proposed new matchbox building and how much more aesthetically sensible it would be to tackle and revamp every vacant plot negating any need to actually take away a beautiful waterway aspect by having to create land to build these monstrosities

By Maria Coughlan