Signature Living has acquired the 145,000 sq ft Millennium House from Liverpool City Council and work is expected to start this week on converting the site into the football-themed Shankly Hotel.
Planning permission for the Victoria Street property was granted in May 2014 for the £15m conversion, which will see the development of an 83-suite aparthotel themed around the legendary former Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly.
According to proposals, the hotel will take up 62,000 sq ft, with 18,000 sq ft of office space, a 19,000 sq ft gym and a 45,000 sq ft car park.
The Shankly Hotel was launched to international investors earlier this month. The sales brochures offer rooms at £200/sq ft. Investors are promised 8.5% yields for the first three years, 9.5% in year four, and 10.5% in year five.
Investors are also promised a guaranteed buy back period between years three and 10 at a 10% uplift.
Ascot Property Investments is the agent marketing the site. The scheme was designed by Blok Architecture. The Planning Studio submitted the planning applications.
Signature Living is led by director Lawrence Kenwright. The company recently opened a Titanic-themed White Star Line Hotel at 30 James Street in Liverpool, and also operates smaller boutique hotels and serviced apartments in Bold Street, Mathew Street and Victoria Street.
There was no one available at Signature Living and Ascot Property Investments to confirm the funding sources and guarantor of the Shankly Hotel development.
The property was sold to Signature after Liverpool City Council agreed to buy the long leasehold on the 285,000 sq ft Cunard Building from Merseyside Pension Fund in late 2013. The council said this was part of a cost saving plan involving the relocation of council staff to the Pier Head site and disposal of its interests in Millennium House.
Within marketing materials, Kenwright said: "The Shankly Hotel has partnered with Bill Shankly's grandson, Chris Carline, who will curate a unique Bill Shankly museum within the hotel comprising of never before seen memorabilia. These exhibits, along with other football memorabilia, will help create an environment that is suited to football fans throughout the world. The hotel is also partnering with Liverpool FC and Everton FC to provide guests with exclusive tickets and tours offers.
"The cultural and historic objectives of the project has gained the support of Liverpool City Council who will actively promote the new hotel on a national and international level via the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership and Liverpool Vision channels. The end result will be a one of a kind accommodation experience."