Vision reveals Pall Mall development opportunity

Michael Hunt

Liverpool Vision, the city's economic development company, is using MIPIM to launch a development opportunity in Liverpool's business district.

Jim Gill, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, will be joined by Chris Oglesby, chief executive of Bruntwood, at the world's largest property fair on Tuesday to unveil details of Pall Mall Exchange, which Vision said represents the next phase of expansion in the city's business district.

The office development will be built on land behind Mercury Court owned by the North West Development Agency and capable of delivering up to 410,000 sq ft of commercial space.

The decision to bring the NWDA site to market puts a question mark over English Cities Fund's involvement at Pall Mall. The public-private developer, led by Muse Developments, won a competition to develop Pall Mall in 2006 but progress has been mired by protracted talks with NCP. No one was available for comment at English Cities Fund when contacted by Place.

Gill said: "Pall Mall Exchange represents a fabulous opportunity to plan and develop an office campus of the highest quality, to leading edge environmental standards at the heart of a city centre with all the benefits which follow from such a superb location.

"Development of the site will allow Liverpool to secure large scale civil service or corporate relocations attracted by the city's competitive cost base and overall quality of life.

"An outline masterplan has been embodied in a Supplementary Planning Document adopted by Liverpool City Council and the site is recognised as a Regional Strategic Site by the NWDA, giving priority access to public funding and support."

In the past five years, 710,000 sq ft of new Grade A commercial office space has been built in Liverpool, 1.3m sq ft of existing space refurbished and 1.9m sq ft of space has been let. The final 110,000 sq ft phase of St Paul's Square, by English Cities Fund, is under construction and due for completion in the summer next year.

Vision said Pall Mall Exchange represents a natural extension to St Paul's Square. It said the wider 9.6-acre site, including the NCP car park, is capable of accommodating up to 2m sq ft of development.

On Pall Mall itself, developer 30 Pall Mall has planning permission for 220,000 sq ft of Grade A commercial office space.

Liverpool Vision and the NWDA are seeking a development partner for the Pall Mall Exchange site and said the MIPIM announcement provides advance notice of the formal procurement process.

Talks with NCP, which owns a car park adjacent to the site, appear to have stalled and NWDA and Vision are going ahead on this partial scheme without them.

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