Kinrise pulls out of Martins Bank project

Developer Kinrise pulls out of multi-million pound project to transform the Martins Bank office scheme in Liverpool with main investor now seeking a new contractor. Tony McDonough reports

Martins Bank Building in Liverpool is to undergo a major transformation


Developer Kinrise has pulled out of the multi-million pound project to transform the historic Martins Bank building in Liverpool into a small business hub.

In a joint venture with London property investor Karrev, Kinrise acquired the 210,000 sq ft Grade II-listed building in Water Street in August 2021. It then embarked on a major publicity push to showcase its plans for the site.

Originally due for completion in 2024, the developer revealed the site would be home to community-focused spaces, hospitality outlets and 95,000 sq ft of office space, offering floorplates of up to 17,500 sq ft.

Kinrise also said it was seeking a high-profile restaurant partner to occupy the grand banking hall on the ground floor. It was previously occupied by Barclays Bank.

However, Kinrise, which successfully secured planning consent for the scheme, and Karrev have now agreed to part company with the latter party taking full control of the project. It is understood Karrev will soon issue a tender for the work.

It isn’t clear what impact this will have on the timetable for the scheme. LBN has attempted to contact both Kinrise and Karrev for comment. Joint agents on the project are Avison Young and CBRE.


Martins Bank Building
Banking hall inside Martins Bank Building in Liverpool
How Martins Bank Bank building will look after its refurbishment


Located next to Liverpool Town Hall, Martins Bank Building has been closed since 2009. Despite numerous projects and ideas it has remained empty except for a handful of events and film sets.

Originally designed in 1927 as the headquarters for Martins Bank by Herbert J Rowse, who also designed India Buildings across the road, the site was later bought by Barclays in 1965, operating as their flagship Liverpool branch until 2009.

READ MORE: Sports Direct acquires former Liverpool M&S store

During World War II, Martins Bank performed a hugely important strategic function when its vaults were used to store the bulk of England’s gold reserves, 280 tonnes, as part of Operation Fish. 

It was part of an overall plan to move the country’s wealth to Canada in the event of a German invasion.

In 2018 it was announced that the building’s owners, Starwood Capital, had sold the building as part of a package of 14 properties to a French property company, Foncière des Régions. 

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.