Plans to transform a historic Liverpool City Centre building into a £20m hotel with design input from 'influencers' was approved earlier this week — but what is the history of the Gostins Building?
The city's planning committee approved the plans to convert the Gostins Building on Hanover Street in a council meeting on Tuesday.
Plans were put forward by The Fattal Group to open the building as a Nyx Hotel.
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The plans involve adding a two-storey roof top extension to the eight-storey building which will be converted into a 207-room hotel.
Planning permission was approved in December 2020, subject to the signing of a Section 106 agreement regarding how much the developer will pay towards community projects as part of the plans.
The plans needed reapproval from the planning committee due to the length of time that lapsed since the original report.
But on Tuesday the city council confirmed they had given approval to transform the building, subject to legal agreements.
The Gostins Building was originally built for surgical goods company Aryton & Saunders Co Ltd in the early 20th Century.
The application site is located within the boundaries of the Duke Street Conservation Area and falls within the identified 'Merchants Quarter' character area of the World Heritage Site.
The approved plans have been welcomed from a conservation perspective as the smaller two-storey roof extension is said to not be to the detriment of the surrounding historic environment.
Gostins originally opened as a period furniture store and warehouse for more than 20 years.
Situated next to the existing Novotel on Hanover Street, the Gostins Building is an eight-storey redbrick construction.
Following its original use for surgical goods manufacturing, the building became known for housing a wide range of independent retailers.
Up until the middle of 2018, the ground floor consisted of two retail tenancies, positioned either side of the building's main entrance.
The first floor consisted of small independent retail units, but had a high numbers of vacant units.
In 2017 the ECHO went inside to speak with a number of independent retailers in the building.
The remaining upper floors contained office suites of varying sizes, again with a high vacancy level and a high turnover of short term lets.
The building was vacated pending redevelopment and was empty until the current application bought the building in 2020.
A document included with Fattal’s original planning application states: “The change of use to hotel accommodation provides an effective use of this city centre site, which will help to serve Liverpool’s growing tourist industry while refurbishing an important historic building back to its former glory.
“The proposals are sympathetic to the area and add to the overall quality of the city centre environment.
“The rooftop extension offers a stylish addition to the current building and helps to tie in the historic and modern elements, which are commonplace within the context.
“The proportions, materiality and character of the building are all retained and any adaptions to the existing elevations are reversible and adaptable to future change to ensure the longevity of this important historic building.”
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