Imminent building sale raises questions over key Liverpool retail site

Church Street Decathlon UK store

The future of a key Liverpool retail site is under scrutiny due to sale negotiations with a potential Far East buyer.

The ongoing talks have led to the closure of a storage business, which only opened 18 months ago at the 18-20 Church Street site.

Storeaway moved into a 27,000 sq ft unit in the property above the former Next branch.

Accessed from School Lane, to the rear of the site, the Storeaway unit was one of four in the national storage business, alongside sites in Basildon, Bath and Cheltenham.

However, the building is in the process of being sold by Redevco, on behalf of Arioso.

The new owners, based in the Far East, are understood to have other plans for the building, which means the Storeaway unit will close in December, because the new owners are unwilling to extend the current lease, said Storaway.

The storage company said it was in the middle of negotiating a lease extension when it was informed of the building’s sale.

Storeaway Liverpool site entrance

A Storeaway spokesperson said: “This is such a pity and we really feel for our staff and customers, who have been wonderful.

“Our team supported all manner of interesting businesses which relied on us to provide them with secure, easy-to-access storage and we hope they will find alternatives quickly.”

Redevco announced the letting to Storeaway in April 2022, along with a lease with French sporting goods retailer Decathlon, which created 40 jobs when it opened last year.

Next vacated the 80,000 sq ft building in the heart of the city’s prime retail pitch in 2020 and Redevco took the opportunity to reconfigure the space to accommodate a more diverse mix of occupiers. The prominent building has undergone a £2.25m transformation which split the space to create three new units.

Decathlon agreed a 15-year lease on 30,000 sq ft of ground and first floor space in the six-storey building.

StoreAway signed a 15-year lease for 36,000 sq ft for the remainder of the upper parts.

Redevco also converted 13,410 sq ft of basement space with a dedicated ground floor entrance from School Lane.

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