Work in Progress: 2016 development preview

From major private rented sector (PRS) schemes and brand new houses to further student accommodation, Liverpool is a city with plenty of residential projects in the pipeline and land primed for development.

We take a look at some of the projects set to come to fruition in the new year, as well as those which are due some progress in 2016.

Central Village

Having been marred by several years of delays, Liverpool city centre’s mixed-use £160 million Central Village scheme is now showing signs of progression.

In recent weeks the extension and extensive refurbishment of Renshaw Street’s Watson Building to create office space at the site has reached completion.

A neighbouring student accommodation element of the retail, leisure, residential and workspace project is expected to follow suit in 2016, with Legacy’s 192-bed student block anticipated to be ready for the arrival of the new academic year in September.

Then there’s the area of the Boardwalk section of Central Village – a former Network Rail depot – which is said to be known as ‘Site B’.

Speaking to Your Move earlier this year Neil Kirkham, associate director of CBRE which has been marketing this section of Central Village, highlighted that the site had historically had planning permission for a 10-storey, 240-bed hotel however its has “clearly got potential for alternative uses such as student or traditional residential”.

Whilst Site B is regarded as the final part of Central Village, next year could bring confirmation as to whether new homes will sit alongside the proposed cinema, restaurants, outdoor seating areas and offices the overall project is set to create.

central village

Baltic Village

Work on this Baltic Quarter residential site overlooking the Liverpool waterfront initially began back in 2006, but was left abandoned just a year later following the collapse of its initial developer.

The intervening years have seen the surrounding area undergo a major renaissance and in January it was announced that Promenade Estates had taken over the site and commenced construction work on a new private rented sector (PRS) scheme known as Baltic Village.

Once completed, it will feature 324 luxury apartments and will be let on an American model offering residents their own concierge service, car parking space, meeting rooms and cafes. The mixed-use Baltic Village scheme will also feature an external area complete with seating and Wi-Fi that is open to both residents and the public.

Peter Hynd, chairman of Promenade Estates, has confirmed that despite meeting challenges relating to the structure that had been left behind, construction is firmly on track and will be finished by the end of September 2016.

Upon completion, the development will be handed over to residential property fund, Vista Fund following its agreement back in August with Hermes Investment Management to acquire the site for more than £50 million.

baltic village

Kirkby Town Centre

St Modwen pledged a “significant new housing scheme” as part of its regeneration of Kirkby town centre, when it announced in October that it had exchanged contracts to acquire the site from Tesco in a £35.8 million deal.

Working in partnership with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council on the multi-million pound retail-led scheme, which will aim to bring a long-awaited boost for the area, the developer, which is also currently working on Project Jennifer in North Liverpool, is lining up new homes for a 65-acre site close to the central shopping and leisure district.

It’s still early days for the project, which is currently understood to be at the masterplanning stage, and finer details of how many homes and the types of properties which are being proposed have yet to be revealed, along with a timescale of when they will be developed.

As the plans continue to progress, 2016 could bring answers to those questions and take the scheme a step closer to the commencement of work on site.

Cains Brewery Village

Back in November 2013, planning permission was granted to transform Liverpool’s historic Cains Brewery site into a major multi-million pound, mixed-use leisure and retail project, also including substantial residential accommodation.

Up to 775 ‘high quality’ homes or 2,500 student bedrooms were a proposed feature within the initial £150 million plans, alongside a 94-room boutique hotel; a new Cains brewery, museum and event centre with rooftop ‘Sky Bar’; a four-screen independent art-house cinema; a supermarket; fitness centre; restaurants; an artisan food hall and a market for independent fashion retailers.

Following the green light from Liverpool City Council, a search for development partners and operators for the project’s leisure and retail offering was launched, with a view to see first phase completion of the scheme by summer 2016.

In the meantime, the renaissance of the site’s Baltic Triangle surroundings has been continuing with other student accommodation and apartment developments pressing ahead, and an array of cafes, bars and event spaces opening up in the area.

In October Sudargharar Dusanj, managing director of Robert Cain Brewery, told Your Move that interest from potential investment and development partners had “definitely picked up in the past six months”. Andy Delaney, director of development consulting and agency at Colliers International, which has been marketing the scheme, also confirmed it had attracted some “local and national, and also some international interest”.

Whilst there may be no further movement to announce as the year draws to a close, maybe some progress will be on the horizon for Cains Brewery Village in 2016.

cains brewery

Festival Gardens

Liverpool City Council took over a 57-acre plot of the city’s former International Garden Festival site earlier this year, and the land is said to be the subject of future ideas for leisure and housing.

Could we start to see some of those ideas take shape in 2016? Having become ‘derelict’, the plot was the focus of approved plans in 2007 for more than 1,300 homes when the lease was held by Langtree, however the scheme was delayed and then delivery partner, David McLean Homes entered administration.

During a networking event hosted by Move Publishing in September, guest speaker Councillor Ann O’Byrne, the city’s Deputy Mayor, spoke of the potential the site still holds for residential development.

“You’ll know we recently bought the Festival Gardens site; it’s a massive piece of land and there are some really great ideas going forward,” she said.

“Because of where it is on the waterfront you could imagine the housing you could build there, but of course it’s a former tip and we need to spend a considerable amount of money clearing that site. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen, because it is.”

At the time Cllr O’Byrne, who also suggested an ‘Eden of the North’ as an idea for a leisure offering on the plot due to its close proximity to the river, said such development on the Festival Gardens site would help the city’s waterfront, which has already seen substantial regeneration in recent years, to continue further.

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