There are two hopes of getting this development built...No Hope and Bob
What a shame a nasty smack off job was done to Josephine Butler House
Liverpool Hope Street redevelopment latest victim of credit crunch
Mar 3 2009 by David Bartlett, Liverpool Daily Post
£100m redevelopment of Liverpool’s Hope Street is the latest victim of the credit crunch
THE proposed £100m redevelopment of Liverpool’s historic Hope Street has become the latest victim of the credit crunch.
Maghull Developments, which has mortgages for the project with crisis-hit Royal Bank of Scotland, said it would not be able to finance the mixed-use scheme until it had pre-let a significant proportion of the project.
Managing director Mike Hanlon also said he was unable to give a start date for its £7m office, apartment and retail development on Crosby’s former Central Buildings site.
The company has now applied for permission to build an additional 14 car parking spaces on the site of Josephine Butler House, on the junction of Hope Street and Myrtle Street.
Last year, the company was accused of “hacking the front” off the historic building.
Maghull caused outrage when it claimed it was carrying out “specialist restoration work to the stone facade” of the building ahead of an application to have the building listed.
English Heritage refused to list the building and Maghull was eventually given permission to replace the 1867 former hospital building with 263 basement car parking spaces, a high-class mini market, restaurants, and office space.
The project was essential to the other developments in Hope Street for a hotel and more than 50 apartments, as it would provide car parking for them.
But last night the company said it would be “crystal ball gazing” to predict when work might start.
Its plan is to expand the surface car park on the site of Josephine Butler House from 53 to 67, causing fresh anger.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Berni Turner, historic environment champion, said: “The facade of the building was really attractive, and now we are getting a car park in its place, it’s very disappointing.”
Wayne Colquhoun, of Liverpool Preservation Trust, said what had been done to the building was a shame.
“It’s a disgrace, there is no other way to describe this.”
Labour Cllr Steve Munby, who represents the Riverside ward, said: “This is the latest stage in a grisly disaster for design and development in Liverpool.
“The vultures have picked over the corpse of a beautiful building and what we are left with is a graveyard of civic pride – a corporate car park.”
Mike Hanlon, managing director of Maghull Developments, said the company had to be realistic about building in a recession.
“In the current economic climate, we are not in a position to proceed, he said.
“As a short-term stop gap, we want to demolish the three-storey building facing Myrtle Street (Josephine Butler House) and a single-storey 1960s building.
“We have reports from English Heritage saying there was no significant interest in the building whatsoever. The stone cladding was taken off the building last year.
“The building cost is approaching £40m and the bank would not support any developer without pre-lets to move in.
“We are happy to hold tight for the time being.”
The company had always expected to have to wait while the university vacated other buildings, farther along Hope Street, which are also part of the overall project.
In Crosby, the company has plans for offices, apartments and new shops.
Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Tesco, Argos and HomeBargains are all said to have shown an interest in the Central Buildings scheme.
Maghull Developments owned almost 70% of Crosby Village, until it sold a large section to Sainsbury’s late last year.
Last night, Mr Hanlon said he did not know when work would start.
“It could be 12 months or three years, we will develop once the market picks up,” he said.The destroyed the facade of Josephine Butler house and it is still standing there as a Iconic piece of thuggery which has cut Maghull Developments nose off to spite our face.............they should never have been allowed to get away with this act of sheer and utter vandalism to a building that was stone faced and lay just outside a conservation area by the city council.
We at the Liverpool Preservation Trust asked for heritage protection from the council who stood idly by and watched it be hacked to bits by vandals.
The new application is 09F/0290 and there is a further aplication to return another previos application I think the old science faculty where the promised massive investment to the area it is I understand to be returned to the University who they are in partnership with as the properties subject to development were owned by them.
They also own the town centre of Crosby and that scheme is also at risk as they do not have the funding in place and if a supermarket deal falls through they could be in trouble.
Hope Street Thugs
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