IT IS a derelict, burnt-out building that has become a blot on the recentlyregenerated urban city centre landscape.
But the King Edward pub, bought five years ago for just £150,000, is now rumoured to be worth a staggering £9m.
Despite its less than salubrious appearance, the building's value has shot up thanks to its prime position sitting high above the River Mersey, making it ripe for redevelopment.
Sources told the Daily Post that one development company had offered the owner £9m for the site, but was turned down.
The owners, Richmont Properties, are still considering whether to sell the land, develop it themselves, or join up with another firm for the venture.
To make it viable for buyers splashing out such a sum, they would need to build a sky-scraper style tower similar to its neighbour, the multi-million pound Beetham Tower.
A spokesman for regeneration organisation Liverpool Vision said: "It is designated as one of the clusters for tall buildings."
But many are less than convinced that a firm would actually part with such a hefty sum, particularly as the site does not have planning permission for any development. James Kersh, from estate agents Sutton Kersh, said: "It's a prime location because there are so few land sites in the city.
"But it is only worth that much subject to planning. It could be they have been made an offer of £9m subject to planning but with a clause that if it is not successful the developers would pay much less."
Stuart Keppie, from property firm Keppie Massie, said: "It is a postage stamp site. A 40-storey site might give you a return, but I would not advise any of my clients to buy it unless there was planning permission attached.
"There are people who are desperate to get into the city centre but the price of that site is totally dependent on the planning permission.
"It was bought a few years ago by mystery owners and it seems to have been in limbo ever since."
If the owners seal a £9m deal, they would emulate the success of their neighbours Beetham.
The Liverpool-based developer paid the city council £163,000 for land on Brook Street in January, 2002, because it said it wanted the site to make environmental improvements for its nearby 28-storey Beetham Tower and possibly build a small office block.
But once Liverpool's cabinet approved the deal, the firm subsequently submitted a planning application to build the 40-storey block West Tower, which is estimated to make them £30m.
A spokesman for Richmont Properties said: "Design negotiations are at a very early stage with the city council.
"If someone is happy to pay that amount, we would advise them to speak to our agents, Knight Frank."