Russells lines up Municipal Buildings hotel

Charlie Schouten

In one of its first major wins in Liverpool, the Manchester-based contractor is understood to have secured a deal to convert the listed building into a four-star hotel.

Developer Fragrance Group is understood to have picked the contractor for the 189-room hotel, with soft strip-out works already under way.

Although an operator has yet to be secured, the developer is pressing on with converting the former council building, which will feature a swimming pool and spa, lobby, a ballroom, a bar and restaurant, and a conference hall. The developer acquired the site from Liverpool City Council in 2017.

Planning consent was secured in October last year. Of the 189 rooms, there will be 24 and 29 guest bedrooms on the lower ground and ground floors respectively, with 68 on the first floor and 67 on the second floor.

A four-storey bronze-clad extension is proposed to the building’s rear next to an existing NCP car park; this will house leisure facilities, some hotel rooms, and plant. The main entrance to the hotel will be via Dale Street. Falconer Chester Hall is the architect.

The 130,000 sq ft building was in council use until March 2017, although a “One Stop Shop” facility was operational at the site until February this year.

Trafford Park-based Russells has carried out a number of listed building refurbishments in Manchester, but the Municipal Buildings deal is its first contract win of this scale in Liverpool.

The contractor has delivered complex refurbishments including Hanover House at NOMA, which will be Amazon’s Manchester office. It is also currently on site delivering a Motel One at 3 St Peter’s Square for Property Alliance Group.

The professional team also includes Zerum as planner, Stephan Levrant Heritage Architecture, Curtins as structural engineer, Crookes Walker on M&E, Auditive as acoustic consultant, Tyrer Partnership on ecology and TTHC on transport. The original planning and listed building consents were secured by Turley.

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Lending a helping hand

By Curly Wurly

The car park isn’t NCP and Russells worked on a £20m scheme just across the road 6 years ago…

By Abots

Municipal along with Martin’s Bank Building, Great Northwestern Hall and the awful Adelphi should all be Liverpool’s grand prestigious Hotels.

By Anonymous

Hope it doesn’t turn out like the New Museum fiasco

By Anonymous

This is good news, although I thought Fragrance Group was actually the hotel operator?

By Sceptical

So much potential, on what is one of the best Victorian streetscapes in the country. Looking forward to seeing this completed.

By Anonymous

Good to hear. Note that the building is Grade II* listed, not Grade II.

By Daniel

Liverpool finally starting to open for business with those from outside the region?

By Anon

The removal of the flyovers is a major boon in this area. At last it will all connect up from the Waterfront via Water Street and Dale Street to St. George’s Hall and Plateau, with this hotel at the top end. Brilliant!

By Liverpolitan