Promenade Estates has sold the landmark city centre building that was the ‘last piece of the jigsaw’ of the redevelopment of Queen Square 18 years ago. Tony McDonough reports
One of Liverpool’s best-known landmarks – the Observatory – has been acquired by social housing company Torus from Promenade Estates in a £3.65m deal.
Torus has recently merged with Liverpool Mutual Homes, which was already resident in the 21,000 sq ft building located in Old Haymarket close to St George’s Hall. It will now become the organisation’s head office.
The Observatory was the last piece of the 660,000 sq ft jigsaw that was the redevelopment of Queen Square and has been fully let since its completion 18 years ago. It was designed by the Liverpool studio of Falconer Chester Hall.
The award-winning mixed-use development is acknowledged as having transformed Liverpool’s appeal to occupiers and institutional investors in the late nineties, ultimately leading to the hugely successful Liverpool One project.
“This was the first institutional-grade development in the city for years and it changed the outlook on Liverpool,” says Promenade managing director Daniel Hynd.
“We secured blue chip retail, hotel, office and leisure occupiers and they’re all still thriving. I’m delighted that the Observatory has become the HQ for such a prominent regional organisation.”
The sale follows other recent disposals by Promenade, including the fully-let Marine Point development in New Bright to Aprirose, the Ramada Plaza leisure scheme in Southport to Bliss Estates and a major waterfront residential scheme overlooking Liverpool’s Albert Dock to Vista Fund.
Steve Coffey, Torus chief executive, added: “As a housing group, our focus is on investing in our three heartland areas of Liverpool, St Helens and Warrington; building new homes, improving existing ones and delivering initiatives that change lives.
“Our purchase of The Observatory underlines our long-term to commitment to Liverpool, its people and the communities we serve.”The company also works in investment and management of commercial, retail and residential property.