A shower of towers for Liverpool skyline

Projects could turn area into a mini Mersey Manhattan. Sort of

Written by  Larry Neild | Follow @larryneild | Friday, 23 December 2016 09:33

YOU wait for one skyscraper to come along in Liverpool’s Leeds Street corridor, then a load come along at once.

Projects that will turn the area into a mini Manhattan by the Mersey have been submitted to the city council.

Given that the developments are in and around the business quarter, office or commercial developments would have been welcome.

But there is no doubt a collection of residential towers will create a dramatic gateway into the city centre.

The latest scheme to emerge is an eye-catching, 27-storey construction planned for the corner of Old Hall Street and Leeds Street, within the buffer zone of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site.

Prospect Capital and Wilcocks & Wilcocks, advised by Indigo Planning, have submitted plans for a development called Ovatus 1, featuring the £35 million high-rise, with an ever taller sister-tower, Ovatus 2, planned for the site.

A team of "nationally-recognised" consultants has been assembled to advise on it, say the developers, who are confident the tower will be fully occupied on completion.  The hodder+partners-design covers 144,000 ft. square feet with amenities and public space included.

Ovatus 1 is the first phase of the two-tower development on the site; with the application for Ovatus 2 expected to be submitted to planners in 2017.

The development will regenerate the current site and comprises 168 residential units, including 14 3-bed apartments, 88 2-bed apartments, 22 1-bed apartments and 44 studio flats. Nearly 200 cycle storage spaces will also be provided.

Stephen Hodder, chairman of hodder+partners, said the building's height and form would seek to capture and reflect the “beautiful light in the estuary”.

Craig Blackwell of Prospect Capital said: "With the site's key gateway status in Liverpool, as well as its landmark nature and overall significance, we knew that bringing the right team together on this project was very important.

“In appointing Indigo Planning and hodder+partners, as well as WSP and PlanIt, we are confident that the team in place has the skills and expertise to do great justice to a forthcoming special addition to Liverpool's skyline."


Martin Wilcocks of Wilcocks & Wilcocks said: “The project is currently fully funded and financed to ensure the scheme’s deliverability, with enough presales secured to ensure the tower is fully occupied on completion. A testament to the demand for this kind of stock in Liverpool.”

Nick Fillingham, Associate Director at Indigo Planning, said: “With demand for high-quality residential units growing in cities such as Liverpool, there is currently a real appetite in the market for this kind of development.

“The scheme’s close proximity to the historic Princes Dock, as well as the existing local amenities and direct access to Liverpool’s city centre, will create a sought-after development which is set to improve the area’s residential offering.”

If the planning application is approved, work could begin as early as April 2017.

The Eliott proposalThe Eliott proposal

Meanwhile plans have been lodged with the council for a £250m project on the northern edge of Liverpool’s commercial district to construct three skyscrapers, the tallest of which would become the city's third tallest building after Beetham West Tower and Radio City Tower.

Developer Elliot Group wants to construct the housing complex on the corner of Leeds Street and Pall Mall, with the high-rises ranging in height – 27, 33 and 39 storeys. The tallest would be over 400 feet.

Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group says growing investor confidence in Liverpool has enabled the group to raise the bar in terms of design and "elevational treatments".

He said: "Domestic as well as overseas investors can see the strength of Liverpool’s economy and, combined with robust returns, the city represents good value.  Our investors take a long term view and know that the best way to protect their investment is via a high quality product that is well managed."

Between them, the towers would provide just over 1,000 homes.