THE mystery surrounding the future of the former Tyrers store has ended after luxury developers purchased the iconic building and vowed to transform it with a £1million investment, the Star can reveal.
The Bridge Street premises has been empty since January when the independent department store closed its doors after 128 years of trading.
In what represents a boost for St Helens town centre, the five-storey building has been bought by development company Luxor Group, which plans to convert the upper floors into one and two-bedroom luxury apartments. The basement and ground floor space will be retained for retail.
Speculation over the building’s future had resurfaced in September after a sign was put up by estate agent JB&B Leach saying it was ‘under offer’.
Luxor says it is already looking at potential retailers.
The exterior façade and features of the building will be retained, with the developers revamping the back of the building and adding decorative exterior lighting.
Paul Nicholson, managing director of Luxor Group, said: “We are proud to have an opportunity to save such an iconic building with so much heritage.
“Tyrers was an institution to the people of Merseyside and we are excited to bring the building back to life by creating functional living space and attracting a grade A tenant for the retail space.
“There was a real danger that the building could have laid empty for years to come. We are now starting to consider potential retail tenants to approach that would add value to the residents of St Helens.”
Luxor Group is a luxury development company which started acquiring derelict buildings in the outskirts of Liverpool City Centre and has a portfolio of more than 155 rental units.
Paul added: “Since we started investing in the Kensington area of Liverpool we have seen a substantial regeneration which has been great for the local community and residents.
“With the support of St Helens Council we see a similar opportunity here in St Helens.
“We are constantly seeking opportunities to acquire beautiful old forgotten buildings to convert into affordable luxury homes. While many developers do not know how to sympathetically convert old buildings, we specialise in this area and have a track record of successful products throughout Liverpool.
“We are committed for the long term and will be investing over £1m in the transformation of the Tyrers Building. We are confident the conversion will benefit St Helens and its residents.”
Former Tyrers managing director Ali Tyrer opened a boutique ‘Ellamora’ in Rainford, selling gifts and clothing, in August.