New DoubleTree hotel by Hilton for Liverpool & Lime Street restoration project

Posted: 10/08/2012

The first of the two latest restoration projects in Liverpool involves the Grade ll listed Municipal Annexx building and the second scheme is set for the distinguished Liverpool Lime Street.

The first of the restoration plans entail the transformation of one of Liverpool’s finest buildings into a DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton. The building used to be used as Liverpool City Council’s head office before they moved out in 2006. The restoration plans were hit with a succession of delays until Hilton announced on the 8th August 2012 that they will be renovating the building into an 87 bedroom hotel as part of the worldwide DoubleTree hotel branch.

DoubleTree by Hilton have over 220 hotels worldwide and are renowned for their signature welcome of handing each new guest a chocolate chip cookie. The hotel will become a 4 star rated hotel yet the owner of the Municipal Annexx building wanted the hotel to become ‘one of the top five hotels in Europe’.

The hotel will consist of a restaurant, a luxurious spa and swimming pool, a conference area, a resident’s lounge and the rooms will be ‘architecturally significant bedrooms.’ The former family court room which contains a stunning vaulted ceiling and magnificent stained glass windows will be adapted to become the presidential suite. The swimming pool will be located in the basement of the building where people can bath in natural light due to the light from a huge window on the ground floor however, due to the historic nature of the building there are 40 conditions which must be followed which are attached to the planning permission.

The building was valued at £30 million last summer and the Hilton has stated that Liverpool has become one of their favourite cities in the UK as it already operates one of its upscale hotels and an economy Hampton by Hilton hotel in the area. The hotel will be managed by Sanguine Hospitality who currently runs Hotel Indigo on Chapel Street.

The second restoration plan for Liverpool is on a much larger scale involving Liverpool’s historic Lime Street. It seems that it is the only place in Liverpool that has not been rejuvenated along with Renshaw Street even though many of the buildings are derelict and vandalised.

But this is set to change thanks to a five year master plan which has been jointly launched by Regeneration Liverpool and Sigma Inpartnership which will develop a minimum five other areas in Liverpool. The plans involve knocking down the Concourse House and the row of shops in front of it to build a public square as well as redeveloping the route along Renshaw Street to St Luke’s Church, also know as the ‘bombed out church.’

Lime Street Station was rated one of the worst train stations in the UK before £35 million was spent on improvements between 2007 and 2010.

Renshaw Street has recently suffered from the closure of the historic Lewis’s Store and the move of Rapid Hardware from the George Henry Lee building to Williamson Square back in 2009. The Lewis building is in the redeveloped process and you can read a more about the project in more detail on Pali’s previous article, Former Liverpool Lewis department store refurbishment.

There are currently many other redevelopment schemes planned for Liverpool including New student accommodation in the city centre, The Baltic Triangle, Knowsley Homes and the North Liverpool regeneration scheme.

What are your thoughts on the amount of regeneration, restoration and redevelopment going on in Liverpool?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
www.paliltd.com

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