Breathing new life into Liverpool city centre office space
In 2012, developers submitted plans to redevelop the Grade II listed Watson Building on Renshaw Street in the heart of Liverpool city centre. As with all developments, substantial funds were required to do this.
In April 2014, the Chrysalis Fund approved a £5.6 million loan towards the £16.5 million redevelopment of the Watson Building. The loan was provided to a syndicate of investors organised under the national Business Premises Renovation Allowance scheme, who are now redeveloping the vacant building, bringing it back to life and back into economic use. On completion, the Watson Building will provide 73,000 sq ft of high quality, flexible and well-connected Grade A office space for over 700 jobs, built to BREEAM ‘Very Good’ standard.
Regenerating Liverpool city centre
The Watson Building adjoins the former Lewis’s department store which is also undergoing extensive refurbishment works to provide leisure and retail space, an Adagio Aparthotel and office accommodation as part of the wider Central Village masterplan, which has secured high profile tenants including Odeon Cinema and Frankie and Benny’s. So it’s a key part of the continuing regeneration of Liverpool city centre.
Investing in the market
The Chrysalis Fund aims to invest where the market has limited capacity or appetite and in a way that attracts other sources of finance to invest. Projects like the Watson Building would not be possible without financial support from funds such as Chrysalis. Nevertheless, its close proximity to Lime Street Station, connection to the exciting Central Village regeneration scheme and flexible, striking space underlines its credentials to become a commercial success.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said of the project: “This investment will breathe new life into the Watson Building, creating high quality office space in the heart of our city, providing another dynamic link to Central Village and adding further momentum to our on-going work to regenerate the Lime Street gateway.”