Plans submitted to convert city centre offices into apartments

A major office block opposite Moorfields station could be given a new lease of life as city centre housing.

Despite undergoing a major refurbishment after a multi-million pound acquisition, office space at Centric House has lain dormant for a number of years. Now, the imposing site could become part of the answer to Liverpool’s ongoing housing issues.

Proposals have been lodged with Liverpool Council to transform the four-storey building into 45 new apartments.

The city council’s planning committee will next week consider a bid by Cert Property Limited to repurpose the site into single-level and duplex homes. According to a planning statement, the building only has a single tenant occupying around 50% of the ground floor lettable space.

The building benefits from a car park at basement level and a smaller car park at ground floor level within a courtyard, both of which are accessed from Dale Street. The site is located within the Castle Street Conservation Area

The proposal includes the installation of a platform lift within the main entrance from Moorfields, and creation of an accessible toilet at ground floor level. The building’s existing basement car park would accommodate 11 parking spaces including an accessible bay.

A total of 49 bicycle storage spaces and waste storage are also proposed at basement level. Cert purchased the 27,000 sq ft building six years ago to convert it into office space in a £3.3m deal after its former owner entered administration.

The building last underwent a refurbishment in 2010, when it was owned by Barclays. The bank vacated the building when it moved to 20 Chapel Street and Lord Street on the edge of Liverpool ONE.

It was renamed Centric House in 2011.

The flats plan would seek to introduce a new two-storey roof extension to the building, occupying the rear and side elevations, with glimpsed views of the addition from Moorfields.

A report put to committee members said the changes are sympathetic to the building and surrounding area, with the overall development providing “an appropriate mix” of sustainable and accessible homes.

However, none of the new apartments are expected to fall into the affordable housing bracket. The plans, which are recommended for approval, will be considered at Liverpool Town Hall next week.

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