A multi-million pound deal has been struck on a landmark site in the heart of Liverpool’s city centre. The Observatory, which was designed by Liverpool based architecture studio Falconer Chester Hall was described as the ‘last piece of the jigsaw’ in the redevelopment of Queen’s Square that took place 18 years ago. It is set to be used as a head office by social housing company Torus and the space in Queen’s Square has always been fully set since its completion. It is a large piece of prime real estate in a sought after city centre location and the award-winning space has previously been labelled as having ‘transformed Liverpool’s appeal to occupiers and institutional investors’ in the late 90s which ultimately evolved into the Liverpool ONE project.
The venue, which is located in Old Haymarket close to St. George’s Hall, was sold by leading property firm Promenade Estate for a massive £3.65 million. The company specialises in large scale commercial, residential and mixed use developments in Liverpool and the North West and describe themselves as having ‘a strong vision for property development’ as well as a ‘distinguished track record.’ Daniel Hynd, Managing Director at Promenade, states that the space ‘was the first institutional-grade development in the city for years and changed the outlook on Liverpool.’ He also goes on to say how ‘blue chip retail, hotel, office and leisure occupiers’ are still ‘thriving’ in the Queen’s Square area and that he is ‘delighted that The Observatory has become the HQ for such a prominent regional institution.’
The 21,000 sq ft space which makes up part of the 660,000 sq ft space within Queen Square will become the brand new headquarters following Torus’ recent merger with housing association Liverpool Mutual Homes who own and manage over 15,000 quality homes across the Liverpool area. Liverpool Mutual Homes are a tenant-led housing association established in 2008, taking over properties that were either previously owned by Liverpool City Council or that are new developments. Chief Executive of Torus, Steve Coffey, states that ‘as a housing group, our focus is on investing in our three heartland areas of Liverpool, St. Helens and Warrington; building new homes, improving existing ones and delivering initiatives that change lives.’ He also went on to say how ‘our purchase of The Observatory underlines our long term commitment to Liverpool, its people and the community it serves.’
The sale follows other recent and successful deals for Promenade including the Ramada Plaza leisure scheme in Southport to Bliss Estates, a major residential waterfront scheme overlooking Liverpool’s famous Albert Dock to Vista Fund and retail and leisure space Marine Point in New Brighton to Aprirose. Daniel Hynd describes how the company has ‘a substantial fighting fund for re-investment in Liverpool and remain on the look-out for suitable opportunities’ and as ‘the city’s economy continues to grow steadily’ that Promenade ‘stand ready to contribute further.’
Like countless other companies, Promenade recognises the vast potential in the Liverpool property market and its surrounding areas. As this vast deal proves there is a lot of money to be made in this particular area and especially in the heart of the city centre. With each substantial deal Liverpool’s property market appears to go from strength to strength which ultimately means great things for property jobs in Liverpool now and in the future.