Business heavyweights combine to develop major waterfront residential scheme

Hugh Frost

Two of the region’s business heavyweights have combined to develop a major property scheme in Liverpool.

TJ Morris, the group behind the Home Bargains retail brand, as well as several property schemes, and property developer Hugh Frost’s Beetham Organisation, are proposing a development on the city’s waterfront that would create Liverpool’s tallest apartment block as part of a cluster of residential schemes.

KEIE Limited, part of the family-owned T.J. Morris group, is the buyer of The King Edward Triangle neighbourhood within Liverpool Waters, from Manchester-based regeneration specialist Peel Waters.

Hugh Frost is best known for redefining the skylines of Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham and demonstrating that high quality residential and mixed-use towers could thrive in key provincial cities.

The Beetham Organisation created Liverpool’s tallest building, the 40-storey West Tower, close to the King Edward site.

He said: “We can expect a stunning mixed use development worthy of our great city. It’s a privilege and pleasure to be involved again on home soil, in what is going to be a transformational project for Liverpool city centre. Our development will bring jobs and prosperity through a variety of uses.

“The site has outline planning consent as a neighbourhood of the Liverpool Waters masterplan, but our proposals will aim to be more ambitious, demonstrating what a well planned tall building zone can really deliver.”

The estate is home to a range of small businesses, comprising workshops, retail warehouses, leisure and hospitality uses and a car showroom.

Last month Liverpool City Council lifted a restrictive covenant at the industrial site next to Peel’s £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme, allowing it to sell the land, raising fears for the future of the incumbent traders.

But addressing concerns about the needs of existing tenants of the industrial estate, Mr Frost said: “We are aware of the concerns that existing tenants have and there is genuine empathy for the traders on the estate. Every effort will be made to help them with relocation at the appropriate time.”

Dave Little, Director of KEIE, said: “We are extremely excited to be able to bring forward this prime redevelopment site.

“We believe this development will be transformational to our home city and is key to support our future economic growth. As a local company, we are proud to be playing our part in the regeneration of this area of the city.

“With the support of T.J. Morris Limited, we are well placed and have the expertise, imagination and drive to deliver something special. Key to our involvement is our partnership with Beetham Limited who have the right track record and the same desire as us to provide a landmark scheme for future generations.”

Chris Capes, Director of Development at Liverpool Waters, said: “The King Edward Triangle neighbourhood is a pivotal link between Liverpool Waters, the Business District, and the city centre. Securing partners with such ambitions for this key site is fantastic news for Liverpool Waters and the city of Liverpool.

“Bringing in other developers and investors to work in partnership with us to accelerate the regeneration of Liverpool’s northern dockland has always been part of the strategy for the scheme, and we look forward to seeing Hugh Frost and his team transform the site, bringing new jobs and new homes to the area.”

Hugh Frost praised the role of the city council in enabling the deal, saying: “Liverpool council have been proactive and supportive, and I am looking forward to working with them to realise our ambitions.”

Brabners acted for both T.J. Morris and Peel Waters.

T. J. Morris Ltd is behind a range of schemes in planning or development in Liverpool including an 83-apartment scheme on Duke Street in the city’s historic Ropewalks, a 97,000 sq ft warehouse, Speke 100 on Speke Boulevard in the heart of the south Liverpool industrial corridor, a 28-acre industrial site on Huyton Business Park, which was formerly the HQ of Lambrini-maker Halewood International, and a 250-bed student housing development in Liverpool’s Fabric District.

Beetham is best known for its high-rise developments across England’s four largest cities, including the 39-storey 10 Holloway Circus in Birmingham, the 40-storey West Tower in Liverpool, the 47-storey Beetham Tower in Manchester, the 50-storey One Blackfriars, London – developed by a Berkeley Homes subsidiary – and the 29-storey Beetham Tower in Liverpool.

The TJ Morris group is not without a wealth of resources.

Yesterday (April 9) published the latest annual results of its Home Bargains business, revealing a 10.2% increase in revenues of £3.774bn and pre-tax profits of £332.3m, compared with £293.1m in 2022.

Directors shared a combined total of £15.584m in wages and benefits, up from £15.2m in 2022, and paid themselves a dividend of £36m, compared with £30.5m the previous year.

The directors’ report highlighted the financial strength of the business, revealing that it enjoys a cash surplus which it uses to finance its operations through retained profits, lessening its exposure to debt and interest rate fluctuations.

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