Fresh plans for iconic Lewis’s building

A “department store of experiences” could be created as fresh plans have been lodged for one of Liverpool’s most iconic locations.

For the past 16 years, large swathes of the Lewis’s Building on Renshaw Street have remained unoccupied. Schemes have come and gone since the historic store closed its doors back in 2007 but now fresh hope for the site comes with a new plan to repurpose the Grade II listed location.

Proposals have been submitted by developer Augur to Liverpool Council to repurpose the vacant areas of the site into a mixed-use development including food, drink and leisure facilities.

Currently, Lewis’s is part occupied by a gym, offices and the Adagio Aparthotel across a number of floors. The remainder of the building lies empty and has done so for several years, becoming intensified in recent times following the departure of the Post Office from the ground floor level fronting Renshaw Street.

Plans to transform the site as part of the £160m Central Village scheme faltered in the midst of the recession, leaving the building without purpose. Under the new plans, Augur said in a series of documents submitted to the city’s planning department, a proposed tenant aims to create a “unique and high-quality destination” in what would be a “major attraction to Liverpool City Centre.”

Among the changes proposed for Lewis’s would be facilitating the use of the main corner entrance – known as the Dickie Lewis entrance – once more. The planning statement said: “The proposals are an important step in the reoccupation of the Grade II listed Lewis’s Building. 

“They align with shifts in town centre retailing whereby customers are seeking a range of experiences and interactions which extend beyond the traditional retail functions of the past.” Owing to the historic nature of the Grade II listed location, only certain modifications can be made, including reinstatement and adaptation of existing green marble cladding to the corner entrance.

Among the potential uses for the spaces include a food hall and new retail functions, themed bars and brewery areas, workspaces and meeting rooms, art exhibitions, as well as immersive VR experiences alongside escape rooms and video arcades. Proposals have also been made for “competitive socialising”, for example social darts, mini golf or similar activities.”

According to the planning documents, Augur believes the intended operator – the identity of which is to be confirmed – could deliver 300 full-time equivalent jobs with forecast annual sales of £23m. Liverpool Council could stand to benefit from £315,000 in business rates.

A date for the plans to be considered by the planning department has not yet been established.


Why not follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads? You can also send story ideas to

Share this

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Facebook comments

Latest news