Alfred Waterhouse-designed building was the regional headquarters for Pearl Assurance and overlooks St George’s Hall and currently houses the popular Dr Duncan’s pub. Tony McDonough reports
A Grade II-listed building in Liverpool’s Queen Square will be covered into a 43-bed boutique hotel under new plans proposed by developer Promenade Estates.
The Alfred Waterhouse-designed building was the regional headquarters for Pearl Assurance and overlooks St John’s Gardens and St George’s Hall and currently houses the popular Dr Duncan’s pub on the ground floor, which will be unaffected by the scheme.
Promenade has its own headquarters in the building which was at the centre of the original regeneration of Queen Square in the mid-1990s, a project which helped kick-start Liverpool’s current economic renaissance.
If granted planing consent, the scheme would be the fifth hotel in the region developed by the Promenade team.
“It’s the perfect location for a high quality boutique offering,” said Promenade chairman Peter Hynd. “Those who visit the city for its architecture and culture will love the Alfred Waterhouse link and the fact that the Walker Art Gallery is over the road.
“We understand the regional hotel market and also the operational issues, having been active investors in all our hotel properties.”
The building’s original refurbishment was undertaken by the Liverpool studio of Falconer Chester Hall (FCH), which has been retained to design the new hotel. Alastair Shepherd from FCH added: “We know the building intimately and it’s been an enjoyable challenge re-casting it for hotel use. It’s elegant and contemporary and we’ll be sharing our design in due course.”
The award-winning mixed-use Queen Square development is acknowledged as having transformed Liverpool’s appeal to occupiers and institutional investors in the late 1990s, ultimately leading to the hugely successful Liverpool One project.
The proposed redevelopment follows a spate of recent disposals by Promenade, including the fully-let Marine Point development in New Brighton 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.
“We are putting our resources to good use and are actively seeking regeneration and redevelopment opportunities across the North West,” added Promenade managing director Daniel Hynd.
Curtins is engineer on the project. And, in addition to design, FCH is managing the planning application.