Downing moves city HQ to commercial district

Property developer Downing relocates its Liverpool headquarters to its own building in the city’s commercial district and says it will create new jobs. Tony McDonough reports

No 1 Old Hall Street on the corner of Old Hall Street and Chapel Street


Property developer Downing says it plans to expand its team after relocating its Liverpool headquarters.

For several years the firm, which delivers large student and mixed-use developments across the UK, has been based in Myrtle Street in the outskirts of Liverpool city centre.

Now it is moving into No 1 Old Hall Street where it will occupy 9,665 sq ft across the fifth and sixth floors. Downing is the owner of the building, which faces Moorfields Station. It has invested millions of pounds into the site attracting multiple new tenants.

Downing’s new space is 50% larger than the Myrtle Street site and the company intends to add more people to its team.

It has just completed the sale of two developments in London and Edinburgh, which has enhanced its ability to accelerate the expansion of its £1.5bn pipeline. This includes 5,000 new student beds in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, Newcastle and London.

Downing was once one of the biggest owners of office space in Liverpool city centre. It acquired The Capital in Old Hall Street for £51m in 2006 but had to give up the building in 2013 due to the fallout from the 2008/09 global financial crash.

In recent years it has focused more on student-led development away from Liverpool. Joint chief executive Sally O’Brien said: “No.1 Old Hall Street’s new look and ambition matches our own, making it the perfect home to support Downing’s future growth.

“We have a strong pipeline for 2024 and beyond and are excited to continue developing it.  Having delivered the refurbishment works and seen the new, exciting business professionals it has attracted, we are excited to move in.”

No 1 Old Hall Street has undergone a £5 million refurbishment, which has included the replacement of the original façade, a new roof feature entrance and phase 1 of the common area refurbishments, plus, the delivery of new office space.

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This letting leaves just one larger space left  with a 7,000 sq ft office still available on the first floor that is about to be refurbished to allow up to four new suites, ranging from 700 sq ft to 3,500 sq ft. 

Other tenants include Bond Turner, Liverpool Civil Law, Rasul & Howell, Pret-a-Manger, Out to Lunch, Kenyon McAteer Solicitors, Unicourse, Chroda and Dallas and Richardson.

Downing’s previous office space at 5 Myrtle Street, where it has spent its time since 2006, has been sold to Liverpool game developer Ripstone. Worthington Owen advised on the deal.

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