Flagship office development completes in Liverpool

Work has completed on a flagship Liverpool office development backed by a £5.6m Chrysalis Fund loan.

The Watson Building on Renshaw Street has undergone an extension and extensive refurbishment as part of a £16.5m project by West Nile Development (WND). It will offer 74,000 sq ft of flexible Grade A office space situated next to the new Central Village scheme, which features a mix of office, retail and leisure space.

The completion marks a key investment by The Chrysalis Fund by helping to bring a vacant building back to life and creating office space for more than 700 jobs. Chrysalis has now invested £32m of its £34m into six deals spanning commercial and industrial developments throughout the Liverpool city region.

Mark Bousfield, investment manager at The Chrysalis Fund, said:

“The Chrysalis Fund exists to help schemes like this get off the ground, so it’s fantastic to see this striking building reach its landmark completion point.

“The building has tonnes of character, from its position between the thriving knowledge quarter and the city centre, to its floor to ceiling windows and its views over Liverpool and out to the Mersey. The Watson Building is made for talent retention and workplace wellbeing.”

WND’s development manager, Paul Wellstead said:

“We’re delighted to be able to bring an iconic building back into use in an area of the city which is undergoing huge regeneration. The Grade A office space will be situated right at the hub of a vibrant new area of retail and leisure and will benefit from superb rail and transport connections.

“This will no doubt attract occupiers who are keen to tap into the excellent staff recruitment opportunities this presents.”

Paul added:

“With more than 30,000 sq ft already let at the Department next door, there is a clear appetite for this kind of office space in the city and we are confident we will find occupiers who are committed to providing an exciting and well connected environment for their staff to work in.”

Worthington Owen and CBRE are joint agents on the scheme.

The Chrysalis Fund is backed by the European Investment Bank, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and European Regional Development Fund under the JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) programme.

The fund is managed by the Igloo Consortium, which is made up of Igloo Regeneration Limited, Bilfinger GVA and RBC Capital Markets and operates in partnership with the Liverpool City Region LEP and the local authorities.

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