Jan 8 2008 by Neil Hodgson
An artist's impression of what the new-look St John's shopping centre could look like _320
LIVERPOOL’S St John’s shopping centre is in line for a new look after a multi-million pound makeover to keep pace with the city’s resurgent retail revolution.
Centre owner, the giant property group Land Securities, is proposing to revamp the 60s mall and establish it as a centre for “value mid-market” shopping brands, compared with the existing MetQuarter and the imminent Liverpool One centre soon to open in the city.
Their proposals for the updated centre include two-storey malls, more natural light for shoppers and a new food terrace overlooking Clayton Square, which Land Securities also owns.
Improvements to St John’s worth “tens of millions of pounds” will also feature new flooring, lighting and toilet facilities, as well as improvements carried out with Liverpool council to public areas around the centre.
St John’s Market will be moved to a new purpose-built market hall on one side of Williamson Square.
The whole project could be finished by May 2012 if the plans are given the green light.
Managers say the centre will continue to operate normally throughout the facelift.
The ECHO revealed the first stage of the centre’s revamp in August last year when Land Securities announced plans to build Europe’s biggest TV screen as part of a media wall on the centre opposite Lime Street station.
Nick Davis, Land Securities development director, said at the time: “The media wall will create a stunning impression for visitors to Liverpool over the coming years.”
The public is also being invited to have its say on the latest exciting new proposals and Land Securities has built a new marketing suite in the centre’s St George’s Way, opposite Wilkinson’s and next to the centre management office, which will be open for viewing between 10am and 4pm weekdays from tomorrow and on two Saturdays each month.
Visitors are invited to give their feedback ahead of the plans being submitted to Liverpool council next month.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Liverpool council leader, Cllr Warren Bradley, said “These are exciting times for our city and all of us here in Liverpool.
“I welcome Land Securities’ continued commitment to Liverpool. I believe the plans for St John’s will complement Liverpool’s growing retail offer and I would encourage Liverpool’s shoppers to come into the marketing suite, have a look around and give their own feedback on the plans.”
Nick Davis added: “St John’s is a long-established shopping centre in Liverpool and has always been popular among shoppers.
“Last year alone the centre had 20 million visits. The centre is, however, showing signs of its age and we are hoping to undertake a comprehensive programme of refurbishment.
“The proposals will give the centre a new look inside and out, providing a modern shopping environment for Liverpool city centre.”
Figures released in November last year predicted that Liverpool will rise to sixth place in the UK league table of shopping destinations by 2017, rocketing up from its current 15th place.
And the survey predicts a 33.7% increase in spending over the next 10 years, by far the highest increase of any major city.
New investment in the city’s retail sector, such as Grosvenor’s £1bn Liverpool One scheme and Land Securities’ St John’s revamp, is expected to encourage an annual spendings boost from £1,038,088,930 last year to £1,422,199,897 in 2017.
Further information on the community consultation is available at www.everydayforeverybody.com
The CGI looks like the centre is just getting a re-clad. Has anyone seen the plans yet? What are they demolishing and what are they keeping? Also, I can't see where they're going to put the market unless they are going to redevelop the LFC shop building!
I totally missed the link to the everydayforeverbody.com website! Apparently there is a model of the refurbished St johns in the marketing suite, which should be interesting. From the image of Williamson square it looks like the LFC shop building is going to be rebuilt! Good move really as I always felt that building looked too 'business park' for a city centre square.
pix from Echo website
a bit different from what it used to look like.
St John's Market 1950's , from a book called Liverpool Past
You know, that Victorian market was well-loved and very popular. It was a huge mistake to demolish it and rebuild instead of refurbishing it. The least they could have done was to rebuild in the same style, such as was done with many buildings lost in the blitz.
Many traders retired when the old market was pulled down and their businesses never came back to the new. What had been interesting and full of character became sterile with all the interest and atmosphere of a small array of chain stores. All the little traders driven out and replaced by absentee tenants determined to make there entire rent out of the first customer.
The new market never did nearly as well in terms of volume of trade, not even half.
It reminds me of Harrods in Knightsbridge.
I agree with you , HollyBlack.. To me , keeping the structure, clean it up a bit, and just refurbish the inners , sounds better than the looks of the modern..
This Developer, seems to want to create, in your City, all new glass buildings..? Modern everything... Must have a few bob there to improve? YET!!!
As an outsider visiting Liverpool.. I personally, think it takes away from Liverpools Charm..
As a visitor looking in.. I could just stay here if I wanted to see Modern everything.. A little mix here and there of modern with old is okay.. but, to demolish such landmarks .. terrible..
I believe if the citizens pull together, and tap into the link where it asks for opinions on that development ..(Just clean it up the outside and refurbish the inners...), maybe that fine structure has still life in it..
Pretty soon, if not halted, Liverpool will be a Dubai, with Glass everywhere.. SAD...
Last edited by naked lilac; 03-02-2008 at 05:53 PM.
The issue is not so much external architecture as trading arrangements. Friendly crowded narrow aisles were replaced with needlessly wide sterile ones. Open stalls were replaced by sterile shop fronts, half of them boarded up and showing nothing of the slightest interest. Even an empty stall is of much more interest and utility than a blank wall. Casual street (pavement) traders were hounded out with the demolition and could not return.
The very least they need to do in a any new development is to ensure that independent traders are given both priority and incentives that mega-chain stores do not get. Set aside at least a little premium location space (5%?) that is assigned causally on a first-come first-served basis. Including for "from the barrow" vendors. Provide some vandal-proof-glass roofed rain-shelter public realm space and allow activities such as picnicking, chess playing and so on in it. Loosely speaking, Liverpool is more wet than cold most of the time. Provide a rank for hybrid or electric taxis (drive you and your purchases home for a negotiable price). That kind of thing, character does not end and begin with architecture. I assume the powers that be already intend to limit sales to food and beverages.
found another old picture of St Johns looking up Elliot St.
(Images of Merseyside book)
You can get an English Breakfast here, but they don't serve bacon!
Last edited by PhilipG; 03-09-2008 at 02:16 PM.
PLANS for a £100m redevelopment of Liverpool’s St John’s shopping centre are set to be approved next week. Read
A £100m facelift for the St John’s centre has been hailed as a model response to Grosvenor’s Liverpool ONE.
Land Securities, the owner of the centre, was yesterday given the go-ahead by councillors to overhaul the site.
Work will start on the St John’s scheme in the autumn, and the final phase is due to be completed by late 2012.
It will feature new double-height retail malls, glass fronts to many shops looking on to the street, and roof spaces allowing more light and will expand on to Houghton Street, Elliot Street and Roe Street.
The council’s planning manager Nigel Lee told the meeting that after Liverpool ONE opened there was always the danger the rest of the city centre would be harmed.
But he said: “This is the best response to make sure the rest of the city is bolstered.”
Traders at the indoor market have concerns that the market which will be relocated to the first floor of an extended Williamson Square building, will not be big enough to house all the stalls. But architects said the space would accommodate everyone.