Liverpool city centre is a busy, vibrant and welcoming success story, which through difficult times still manages to expand. It is however true that some streets fare less well than others, and one of these is one of our original 7 streets dating from the 1200’s – Dale Street. Not without its own notable successes though. The soon to open Double-Tree by Hilton Hotel (awaits the inevitable councillor selfies), the impressive Royal Insurance Assurance rescue into the Aloft Hotel. The ongoing conversion of ‘Two Moorfields’ into residential units. The Ibis Hotel and Tesco with some excellent facade retention, and smaller successes like Sixty Dale St, Delkery, and JD Gyms.
If you take time to walk along the north side however you will notice what could be a sign of tough times ahead with empty units, derelict empty spaces, and stalled schemes which promised much:
- Nos. 31 – 37 empty office block – Guardian Assurance Building
- Nos. 53 – 55 empty former Workforce Recruitment office – part of current ‘Two Moorfields’ development?
- ‘Jamaica House’ site empty demolished site since Dec 2007
- No. 73 empty former Top Hat Records block
- No. 75 New Oxford House empty upper floors, in poor repair
- Princes Building – PRS unit empty. Uncertainty over building conversion. Has this stalled? (inc. 10 Hockenhall Alley, and 11 – 13 Cheapside)
- Dale St shops Site – empty demolished site – stalled Dale St shops rebuild, Jamworks
- Nos 97 – 105, ground floor units in use but scaffolded, upper floors empty and ‘derelict’?
- Magistrates Courts – now large empty block with no publicised future use plans, also covers Hatton Garden
- Corner of Hatton Garden – surface car park site
- No. 127 – empty former Higsons Brewery office. Upper floors in use
- Nos. 135 -137, empty ex-Middleton Solicitors. Upper floors in use?
- Churchill Flyover – longer term uncertainty which may be affecting other investment decisions?
We have had some high profile publicity for schemes like the Dale St shops site, and Princes Building, and if they come off the picture becomes much brighter. The above list though does serve notice that Liverpool Council needs to take a pro-active approach to preserving one of our original thoroughfares and ensuring it shares in the city’s continuing success.