A FORTY-YEAR-OLD building in the centre of Liverpool's World Heritage site is to be marketed across the world in a bid to kickstart regeneration in the area.
City agency Liverpool Vision has called for developers to come up with an imaginative redevelopment scheme for 1960s Kingston House, which dominates the corner between James Street and Strand Street close to the Pier Head. They envisage a new office building with leisure and retail facilities in what will be seen as a landmark development of up to 12 storeys.
Local and national developers have been invited to submit potential ideas for the site, which it is hoped will spark other similar regeneration projects in the immediate area.
Kingston House, now owned by the Northwest Regional Development Agency is situated at the junction of Strand Street and James Street, and has been earmarked as the ideal location for redevelopment.
The upper floors are vacant following the closure of a women-only health club. A popular bar occupies the ground floor of what was once a hotel.
The location of the site, considered prominent to the city, offers developers an exciting opportunity to demonstrate their architectural skills. Liverpool Vision has created a brief for the site, currently an 1960s-style office building, which promotes the idea of a 10-12 storey high quality office.
The brief suggests possible ideas for the site which include retail or leisure purposes on the street level floors, and high specification residential use for the higher levels.
Liverpool Vision chief executive Jim Gill said: "This is an important opportunity to regenerate an area which provides a key route between the business district and the city's waterfront.
"The development brief outlines the type of development we would like to see there but we are keen for developers and their architects to be imaginative and forward-thinking when drawing up proposals."
In a effort to improve the experience for pedestrians on James Street, the brief comes in association with a Development Framework document that was created for the wider area.
Paul Lakin, the NWDA's Head of Development said: "Liverpool city centre is fast becoming a leading business destination and it is vital that we continue to develop high-quality office space to continue to attract companies to the area.
"This project is yet another outstanding opportunity to create an innovative scheme in a prominent location in Liverpool."