Martins Bank relaunch ‘likely to be 2026’

Originally due for completion in 2024 the transformation of the Grade II-listed Martins Bank Building in Liverpool will likely not be finished until 2026, LBN has learned. Tony McDonough reports

Martins Bank Building
Martins Bank Building in Water Street in Liverpool. Picture by Tony McDonough


It is looking increasingly likely the transformation of Martins Bank Building in Liverpool into a business hub will not now complete until 2026.

Originally due for completion in late 2024, apart from some work to remove asbestos, the project proper has yet to start, with one of the original joint venture partners, Kinrise, now out of the picture.

Although there is some home the project on the Grade II-listed building in Water Street will be delivered by the end of 2025, it is privately acknowledged it is more likely to be in the first quarter of 2026. But those close to the project insist it will definitely happen.

Martins Bank has been empty since 2009. In 2021 the building was acquired by Karrev, a London-based property investor with a French connection, with developer Kinrise as its junior partner on the project.

Shortly afterwards an ambitious plan was revealed to revive the 210,000 sq ft building and its elegant ground floor banking hall that was last occupied by Barclays Bank.

London-based Kinrise became the front for the venture and embarked on an extensive PR campaign to promote the scheme.

It 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 banking hall. It even released a video showing a performer roller-skating through its corridors to showcase the building which was designed by famous architect Herbert J Rowse.

However, in February it was revealed that Kinrise was no longer involved in the project and holds no stake in the building.

Speaking to LBN shortly afterwards, Kinrise co-founder Sam Lawson Johnston, said: “We are no longer involved in the scheme. Karrev is the majority joint venture partner on the project and we haven’t been involved for a little bit.

“We got it through design and planning and Karrev is taking it forward as a scheme. We love the scheme and we think it will be great and we are sure that Karrev will make a great success of it. They are taking it forward and we are focusing on other things.”


How Martins Bank Bank building will look after its refurbishment
How Martins Bank Bank building will look after its refurbishment


Karrev is a €150m property fund but the venture is not easy to contact. It has no website nor listed telephone number. There is a contact email on the Martins Bank website but multiple messages from LBN have gone unanswered.

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.