West Nile completes £16.5m Watson refurbishment

The conversion of the grade two-listed Watson Building in Liverpool into a 75,000 sq ft office designed by AHR has been finished.

The £16.5m project by West Nile Developments included the refurbishment of the existing building, a one-storey roof extension and the construction of an eight-storey extension on the neighbouring plot.

The Watson Building was originally used for offices, storage and loading bays for former Lewis’s department store and had been left vacant for many years.

The scheme was part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and received a £5.6m loan from Merseyside’s Chrysalis Fund.

The Watson Building refurbishment is part of the wider Central Village development. Central Village includes a 455-space multi-storey car park, an Adagio aparthotel, 75,000 sq ft of offices within the former Lewis’s department building and leisure accommodation which is part pre-let to occupiers including Prezzo, Cosmo, Harvester and Pure Gym.

Bowmer & Kirkland was the contractor. CBRE and Mason Owen & Partners are the agents.

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Its an alright building…but why has it left a plot of open scratty land on the corner of Newington and Renshaw Street? Furthermore, the gable end of the Watson Building is a plain brick wall which does little to help the look of the area!

By Renshaw Street

The adjacent plot has been sold and development of student residential accommodation will commence in April. This building will abut the Watson Building, therefore the gable finishes will be immaterial.


The whole project has really been littered with problems, let’s hope it will be finished someday.
The space over the station, looks ideal for accommodation towers…

By Man on bicycle

Central village is a daft name for a modern development at the heart of the city. As it will be accessed through a new archway under the statue on Lewis’s old department store why not use the name Lewis’s for the whole development. This is much-loved part of Liverpool’s history. The Epstein statue ‘Liverpool Resurgent’ will give an iconic entrance to the new leisure area when it is finally completed. The statue was placed there to symbolize the City’s rising from the ashes after the Blitz. Now Liverpool really is resurgent the time is right to highlight this important monument once more and build on the heritage that was Liverpool’s leading role in the development of department stores and Lewis’s in particular.

By Gwydion

NK: Thanks for the clarification… I hadn’t realised!

By Renshaw Street