Developer unveils four-star hotel plan for Liverpool’s Heaps Rice Mill project

Elliot Group took back control of the £170m Park Lane project close to Liverpool One in July and now aims to create a mix of residential, commercial and hotel space. Tony McDonough reports

Elliot Group
Heaps Rice Mill forms part of he £170m One Park Lane development


Developer Elliot Group says it is close to concluding a deal to bring a four-star hotel brand to its Park Lane development in Liverpool which includes the historic Heaps Rice Mill.

Elliot is submitting a trio of planning applications to the city council for hotels at three separate locations in the city centre, including an amendment to its £100m Aura scheme on the edge of the Knowledge Quarter and changes to an existing hotel project in Norfolk Street.

The developer took back control of the £170m Park Lane project close to Liverpool One at the beginning of July after originally selling it to another developer, Inhabit, who never took the plan for 700 new apartments forward.

There has been significant concern about the physical state of the Grade II-listed Victorian Heaps Rice Mill warehouse at the centre of the site but since re-acquiring the development in a joint venture with Anthony Maxwell-Jones of Valorem Investment Partners, Elliot has promised the building would form the centrepiece of the plans.

Architects at Falconer Chester Hall are working on a new scheme that would see the building being converted to apartments that would be sold to owner-occupiers only. 

Four other new blocks would also be included in the mixed-use scheme which could include a restaurant and a new public square and now Elliot has revealed a plan to make one of the blocks a 260-bed hotel.

It says its currently “concluding negotiations” with an international hotelier to bring a new four star brand to the city. Founder Elliot Lawless said: “Less than a month after we bought the site we’ve already made significant progress.

“We’ll shortly begin work on a range of remedial actions to protect the fabric of the old mill building whilst we take our plans forward.  We’ll be removing plant growth and addressing some structural issues in preparation for the building’s complete refurbishment.”

Elliot Group will add a hotel to its Aura Scheme in Liverpool


The developer also revealed that it is seeking an amendment to its £100m Aura scheme, currently on site on the northern boundary of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.  It is seeking permission to scrap a consented 142-unit apartment block and replace it with a 278 key hotel.

In addition, it will be asking permission to reduce the amount of underground car parking and change some of the façade treatments to its consented 116 key hotel on Norfolk Street, opposite Queen’s Dock, following a request from the new operator, EPIC Hotels. 

Elliot Group recently developed the new Seel Street Hotel in Liverpool’s historic Ropewalks neighbourhood for EPIC. Mr Lawless added: “Liverpool’s hotel sector is booming and these changes reflect market demand.

“Occupancy is heading towards 85% and revpar (revenue-per-room) has never been higher and so the city needs new supply, particularly around the Knowledge Quarter and in Baltic, where there is chronic under-supply.”

The first two blocks of the Aura development, providing more than a thousand student homes, are currently under construction through Liverpool contractor Vermont.  The scheme, as well as all three proposed hotels, has been designed by the Liverpool studio of architects Falconer Chester Hall.

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