Liverpool council could sell Cunard Building and move staff to Pall Mall, says Mayor

Joe Anderson tells LBN he is determined the £200m Pall Mall scheme will go ahead and says the council could commit to being the anchor tenant at the central business district scheme. Tony McDonough reports

Cunard Building
Cunard Building, one of Liverpool’s waterfront Three Graces


Hundreds of Liverpool City Council staff could relocate to Liverpool’s proposed £200m Pall Mall office development – providing a vital anchor tenancy that could ensure the scheme goes ahead.

And Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has even suggested one possibility would be for the council to sell its current headquarters – Cunard Building – and move the 800 staff there to Pall Mall, which will offer 400,000 sq ft of mixed-use space.

Three weeks ago it was announced CTP, Kier Property, the development arm of Kier Group, and Liverpool City Council had formed a joint venture for the delivery of Pall Mall, to the rear of the Exchange Station office complex and close to St Paul”s Square.

A detailed application for the first phase, which would include 100,000 sq ft of office space, is expected to be submitted in the summer.

However, Liverpool’s current headline grade A office rent is just £21.50 per sq ft, which is considered too low to encourage speculative development – unless a significant pre-let can be secured.

There are signs the city’s commercial market is moving upwards and Kier also insists the quality of the space proposed for Pall Mall would be enough to whet investor appetite.

Pall Mall
Image of Liverpool’s proposed £200m Pall Mall office scheme


However, a pledge from the council to be the anchor tenant at the site could be the catalyst for the whole scheme – and Mayor Anderson is determined it will go ahead.

In an interview with LBN, he said: “We have bought the land and we are going to build it out. If Kier come to the table and say they have someone who will fund it then great.

“We need new grade A space to meet occupier demand and I am very much of the mind that says ‘build it and they will come’ and there are all kinds of options to make it happen.

“We could take it on. We have hundreds of staff at locations around the city and we have 800 people here in Cunard. We could sell Cunard and we could be the anchor tenant for Pall Mall.”

The council bought Cunard Building in 2014, spending a total of £15m on the purchase and refurbishment of the site. It is now believed to be worth in the region of £28m so a sale could yield a significant profit for the city.

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