PLANS for one of Liverpool city centre?s biggest-ever commercial office developments have been submitted, the Daily Post can reveal.
Northern Irish firm West Bay Capital is behind the ?50m 18-storey scheme, providing 225,000 sq ft of office space, which it hopes to build at 30, Pall Mall.
The company hopes to win planning permission and start work before the end of the year, with the first phase taking two years, and the second 15 months.
The Daily Post understands funding is in place for the scheme, but is subject to a proportion of the building being pre-let.
Last night, the company said the development was a ?huge vote of confidence? in Liverpool and crucially important in helping to maintain the growth of the city?s commercial quarter.
It is understood the firm wants to provide a potential home for Government department relocations, with Liverpool currently competing to provide space for 2,500 jobs from the Ministry of Justice.
Frank McKenna, chairman of lobby group Downtown Liverpool in Business, said it was a good sign of returning confidence to the city property market.
West Bay Capital, a family- owned business, has previously developed office, retail and residential developments in Belfast, Dublin and London. It has set up 30 Pall Mall Ltd to deliver the scheme.
Last night, company managing director Ashley Moore said: ?We are delighted to be submitting this application and it signifies our belief that Liverpool can become one of the UK?s premier business destinations.
?The city has some fantastic strengths as a business destination, but it is essential that it continues to grow its supply of top-quality commercial office space if it is going to maintain its post-Capital of Culture renaissance in the longer term.?
The development will comprise two separate buildings with distinctive textured facades and a covered internal courtyard.
In addition to the office space, the development will include active ground floor uses including cafes, restaurants and shops.
The site currently has an office block, which would be demolished, and a surface car park that would be built on.
Mr Moore added: ?This is the only development taking place in Liverpool that meets the Government departments? requirement in terms of space and the potential phasing of the relocation.
?I look forward to working with the city?s politicians, and its regeneration and investment agencies, to help attract what would be a fantastic economic boost for Liverpool.?
Andrew Owen, of the project agents Mason Owen, said: ?The fact that a development of this scale and ambition is proceeding at the present time says a great deal about the underlying strength of the city as a commercial centre.
?30 Pall Mall is delivering a high-quality and innovative product that will be attractive to a wide range of public sector and private sector occupiers and help the city to expand and diversify its commercial economy.?
Architect Matt Brook, from Broadway Malyan, said the building will be Liverpool?s greenest office development.
?It will achieve BREAM Excellent energy efficiency rating. The design utilises natural ventilation and maximises natural light penetration to reduce energy use as much as possible.
?At a time when companies and public bodies are aiming to minimise their carbon footprint, we are ensuring that these objectives are at the heart of our design approach.?
Mr McKenna added: ?This is a good indication of some confidence coming back to the city.
?If Liverpool is going to put itself in a position where it wants to attract the relocation of Government departments, it?s got to have available good quality office space.?
Liverpool Daily Post