The developer of Kingsway House in Liverpool has revealed that during the last year excellent progress has been made on the extensive redevelopment of the city centre office building.
Lawrence Kenwright, owner of Signature Living which is converting the vacant 1960s six-storey office building into residential accommodation, has said that despite the challenges created by the Coronavirus pandemic the work is now 75% completed.
This includes the recent completion of the two-storey roof extension of the building on Hatton Garden between Dale Street and Tithebarn Street.
The two-floor roof extension has been constructed using a lightweight steel framing system, which sits atop the existing structure. The extension will be covered in non-combustible cladding however the existing building retains the original brick face facade.
In addition, all of the 117studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments have been already been sold to individual owners with around 40 of them now complete.
The progress report comes as Signature Living awaits planning permission later this month for a further 17 units in the undercroft of the building. A further planning application will be submitted later in the year for three more apartments in the roof of the building.
Lawrence Kenwright said: “Throughout the disruption of 2020 work has continued on the conversion of Kingsway House and we have made good progress despite having reduced staff numbers because of the pandemic.
“Bringing the building back into use after a number of years of lying vacant is vital to Liverpool’s ongoing regeneration and will help to reanimate this part of Liverpool’s business district, adding to the mix of residential accommodation in the city centre.
“We are delighted that the apartments have proved so popular and all been sold off plan and, subject to further planning approval we hope to complete the whole building by the second quarter of 2021, with just the 17 additional apartments to deliver if our planning application is successful later this year.”
Since December, Signature Living has completed and opened two hotels, Rainhill Hall near St Helens and the Dixie Dean on Victoria Street in Liverpool opposite the group’s flagship Shankly Hotel, the subject of a hit four-part BBC1 primetime documentary series, The Grand Party Hotel in Autumn 2020.
The transformation of the Bankfield Centre, a former City of Liverpool College campus into a luxury apartment block in West Derby village, Liverpool was announced last month, while the Shankly Hotel in Preston is also progressing well with the former Post Office building’s roof and several bedrooms now completed.
Lawrence Kenwright added: “Hospitality is one of the sectors that has been hit most severely over the last 12 months, so we have had no choice but to work harder in preparation for when we can open up again.
“It’s meant we have had to be resilient and also to innovate, to adapt plans and adopt new ways of working. Change is hard. We have not only had to endure Brexit which clearly decimated the UK’s property funding markets, but also cope with this current pandemic, which quickly followed.
“When we first purchased this building retail and office space were still deemed as very secure investments, but today their values have decreased drastically. However, we have had to embrace it rather than accept a bleak future. Encouragingly we are seeing the fruits of our labour with some big steps being taken on all of our projects.”