A Singapore-based company has completed the purchase of Innovo House – a purpose-built student scheme in Liverpool's Knowledge Quarter – for an undisclosed fee.

Mount Property Group purchased the land in 2018 and subsequently received approval for the 124-unit scheme, which has now been forward funded by Soilbuild Group Holdings. The project will break ground in May.

Michael Chrysokhou, managing director at Mount Property Group, said: “We are delighted that Soilbuild Group Holdings chose Innovo House as the company’s first UK investment. Student property in Liverpool is a very attractive proposition to foreign investors, offering great returns and we look forward to introducing this long-established company to the benefits of doing business in the city.”

It is the first time that Soilbuild has invested in the UK market in the company’s 40-year history. As such, the funding of Innovo House represents a significant milestone for the organisation and a vote of confidence for Liverpool’s student property sector.

Lim Han Feng, director of Soilbuild Group Holdings, added: “We have been looking at the UK student accommodation sector for a while and believe that it offers a viable and defensive investment proposition. The macro dynamics work in our favour and we look forward to adding more similar investments in the near future.”

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Liverpool to look for views on blueprint for city centre growth

Upper Central – covering 56 acres in the heart of Liverpool city centre – is to be the subject of a draft masterplan to create an international standard gateway site to a £2bn flagship regeneration scheme.

Running from Central Station to Liverpool Science Park and Lime Street to Bold Street, Upper Central is seen as key to the future development of the city’s blossoming Knowledge Quarter (KQ Liverpool).

And Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet will be asked next Friday, 5 July to approve that a public consultation begins on a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to help shape the future direction of the area.

Its focus will be how Upper Central can become a magnet for digital, tech and creative sectors with the aim of providing three key goals :-

1. To maximise the opportunities of 2.5million sq.ft of new developments (larger than Liverpool ONE), with potential to create up to 7,000 new jobs.

2. A new sustainable, walkable and recognisable gateway location within the city, promoting pedestrian movement, increased dwell time and a positive first impression to millions of residents and visitors arriving into the city centre at Lime Street or Central stations.

3. To ensure high quality public realm that creates a place that is distinctly Liverpudlian and attractive to occupiers, residents and investors.

Stakeholder feedback on the draft SRF identified a need to re-brand the area. As a result a new website www.uppercentral.co.uk will be launched to coincide with the start of the public consultation.

Led by a team of independent planning experts, the draft SRF has looked at how best to redevelop the Lime Street area around the Adelphi Hotel, Central Station and Mount Pleasant whilst dovetailing Liverpool John Moores University’s Copperas Hill site, plans for the Fabric District and various private sector schemes such as Circus Liverpool at the old Lewis’s building.

To achieve this future development the draft Upper Central SRF is focused on eight key themes:

• Creation of a True Gateway for Liverpool
• Improving linkages to the rest of the city centre and pedestrian experience
• A mix of uses to create a quality of place and identity
• Striving for high quality design, appropriate massing and landmark buildings
• Provision of high-quality infrastructure
• Holistic view of development context and creating a new city district
• Preserving and enhancing heritage assets
• Delivery and collaboration

A major aspiration identified in the draft SRF is how to create a super crossing at Ranelagh Place, a new pedestrian experience along Renshaw Street and to promote a new pedestrian route to Lime Street Station from Copperas Hill to allow for improved access to the Fabric District and Paddington Village.

Liverpool City Council, which recently acquired Central Station shopping centre and is overseeing public realm proposals for St George’s Plateau, as part of the £45m city centre connectivity scheme, has also set out an ambition to redevelop the Mount Pleasant Car Park area to create an international standard gateway for the KQ Liverpool Mayoral Development Zone which currently employs 7% of the city’s workforce.

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