City can become urban resort like Boston or Barcelona, says developer

Steel worker Lee McMurrie on the £100m Aura scheme

Developer Elliot Lawless, of Elliot Group, believes Liverpool will become the UK’s first ‘urban resort’ as he bets more than half a billion pounds on projects in the city this Autumn.

A combination of stunning architecture, growing leisure travel and business tourism, plus a thriving night-time economy all point to Liverpool carving a new place as ‘one of Europe’s great urban playgrounds,’ the developer predicts.

And with contractors Forrest, Vermont and Newry all on site on six key Elliot Group projects in the city which are set to deliver 2,535 apartments and 484 hotel beds, Lawless believes Liverpool’s future lies in becoming an urban resort ‘like Barcelona or Boston’.

“You’ve got this great blend of heritage and skyscrapers and a really interesting feel at street level.

“Visitor numbers are booming, but I sense the city’s about to reach a tipping point.

“When the dust has settled on things like the new cruise liner terminal and all the myriad projects in the city centre Liverpool will be just knockout, and I can see visitor numbers going stratospheric, and staying there.”

And, putting his money where his mouth is, Lawless shall shortly oversee the opening of the new £20m Seel Street Hotel by Epic in Ropewalks and the start on site of his £70m waterfront Epic Hotel and Residence in Baltic.

Meanwhile, to accommodate Liverpool’s continued growth in workforce and population, Autumn also sees completion by Newry Construction of the £44m regeneration of Wolstenholme Square, delivering 470 new homes and more than a dozen new leisure units.

Forrest is busy completing the steel framework for the £100m, 1,007-bed Aura development next to the Royal hospital and Vermont is now well on with groundworks for the first of the company’s eagerly-awaited £250m ‘triple towers’ on Pall Mall on the northern edge of Liverpool’s business district.

Work will also shortly start on site on the company’s £36m extension to Wolstenholme Square, to be known as The Address.

And, says Lawless, there’s more to come as he finalises details on several other major investments in Liverpool.

“My ambition for Liverpool remains undimmed. Just look at what it is already, and what it could be.

“The city is headed for a new golden age and I want to play my part. I’ve got more schemes in the pipeline and they’ll be just as good as the rest,” he said.