A new £10m leisure venue in the former Debenhams store in Liverpool ONE that will feature a go-kart track is set to open later this year. Tony McDonough reports
Go-karts will be whizzing around the former Debenhams store in Liverpool ONE by the end of this year when a £10m leisure venue opens its doors.
Gravity Active Entertainment, in partnership with Liverpool ONE owner Grosvenor, is creating the 100,000 sq ft venue across two floors of the former department store that closed for the final time in May 2021.
As well as a go-kart track, the facility will also include bowling, urban golf with food and drink, a bar concept and live entertainment. Gravity operates a similar venue in Wandsworth in London and the Liverpool outlet will be its first to feature an outside rooftop space.
Gravity is being advised by Irwin Mitchell, a top 25 UK law firm that last week announced it was setting up its first-ever Liverpool office. Property partner James Knowles led on the deal assisted by solicitor Laura Jones.
He said: “This is Gravity’s biggest investment yet and we are delighted to be advising them on this latest venture at such a well-regarded destination.
“Gravity is at the forefront of the trend of more leisure led hospitality experiences and we are proud to have advised the company on all its property matters to date. We look forward to seeing the exciting new active entertainment experiences at Liverpool ONE at the end of the year.”
The new development also marks a successful pivot for Liverpool ONE which was left with a major headache when the Debenhams retail chain collapsed. When the £1bn Liverpool ONE complex opened in 2008, the 180,000 sq ft Debenhams store was joint flagship tenant, along with John Lewis.
Despite the tough retail environment, and the pandemic, Liverpool ONE has seen almost 40 brands either sign for new space, or renew existing deals, in the past 12 months. Sales at the destination in 2021 were 11.5% up compared to 2019.