Developer Luxor Group has completed the freehold purchase of Barrow House in St Helens, to press ahead with residential plans.
The 34,500 sq ft office building includes basement and ground floor commercial space and vacant offices to the upper floors.
Luxor Group, based in Liverpool, Merseyside, has plans to convert the upper floors in to a new residential scheme, complete with a rooftop garden terrace.
The project will be completed in two phases, utilising both entrances to keep an exclusive boutique feel for residents.
The first phase, named Nicholson Plaza, will contain three ground floor retail units and a basement gaming lounge.
This will build on the success of the conversion of the Tyrers building (Nicholson Lofts) and the residential scheme across the road at Claughton House (Nicholson House) which is now near to completion.
The residential plans for phase two are still in their infancy and more details will be released from the developer shortly.
Luxor CEO, Paul Nicholson, said: “This deal has been in the making for over 18 months with a complexity that required dealing with a variety of parties. The council have been extremely supportive in bringing this transaction to fruition.
“The building has so much potential due to its sheer size, but it will be a difficult build and take significant investment to make our plans reality.
“We are excited to press ahead with our residential plans which will offer yet more affordable, luxury accommodation in the town centre.
“We have already received enquiries from prospective tenants as a result of the overspill of demand from the last two projects.”
Paul added: “We are also passionate about keeping St Helens’ high street flourishing and the preservation and management of the basement and ground floor commercial units will ensure retail is at the heart of our plans.
“We have worked hard with the new tenants to bring their dream businesses to reality, including assisting with fit-outs and rent-free periods to allow them to trade without the burden of paying rent.”
The commercial ground and basement units are fully let to gaming lounge Barzookoid and Laguna tanning sunbed salon.
St Helens business owner Eddie Dean will also be opening his restaurant, The Dean, in the former Willowbrook units in the new year.
Alongside this, entertainment company MD Productions have agreed to occupy the 3,230 sq m shopping arcade on Claughton Street, to use as a dance studio and educational services.
Paul added: “I am looking forward to seeing The Dean open its doors.
“We are also elated to have signed MD Productions who will occupy the entire shopping arcade on Claughton Street with dance troupes, who featured on Britain’s Got Talent and the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix.”