Works take shape on Wirral waterfront landmark Andrew Gibson House

Works are well underway to save and restore one of Wirral’s architectural gems, Andrew Gibson House.

Following a decision by the Secretary of State for Transport to approve the rerouting and improvement of a public footpath. The historic house is a landmark maritime building in Wallasey, on the Wirral, built for the widows of retired seafarers.

Prospect Capital MD, Craig Blackwell said:

“The restoration of Andrew Gibson House and the wider redevelopment of the site has been underway now for several months and we are pleased to say that despite a second wave of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, the conversion of the existing house is well underway and on target.”

Restoration of Gibson Park, as the development is to be known, and the reopening of the grand Edwardian architecture of Andrew Gibson House will add to the renaissance underway along the Wirral waterfront, complementing the recent investments along the Egremont Promenade and around New Brighton, and taking advantage of its majestic position overlooking Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first phase of work will see the restoration of Andrew Gibson House and four detached new homes on adjacent to the main building. The subsequent phases including the new accommodation block for Nautilus will commence following the completion of the restoration.

Confidence in the project’s success and popularity was also expressed by Kashi Shahverdi from selling agents Mason Verdi. He said:

“No one can deny that the covid-19 pandemic of the past year or so has affected all businesses in all sectors. Despite that we have sold more than half of the units in phase 1 in a short space of time in Gibson Park. Our aim is for all of the units to be sold by the end of the first quarter of 2021.”

The refit is due to be complete by September 2021, before works begin on phase 2 later in the year. Wirral Waters is a neighbourhood led project. Each neighbourhood will have its own function, identity and feel. Wirral Waters will be phased with early projects clustering in the Four Bridges, Northbank and MEA Park neighbourhood areas.

New £20m development project will transform Wirral Edwardian mansion

An Edwardian mansion in Wirral that was a former home for the widows of seafarers is to be restored and transformed in a new £20m development.

Andrew Gibson House, close to the Mersey at Egremeont, will form the centrepiece of the scheme by developer Prospect Capital, comprising apartments, townhouses and purpose-built accommodation for retired seafarers.

The site’s former owners Nautilus Welfare Fund has been trying to find a use for the building following its closure and has been the subject of a number of stalled rescue and renovation plans.

Now, following an agreement by Nautilus, Wirral Council and Prospect Capital to work together, a viable restoration scheme has now secured the go-ahead from Wirral Council’s planning committee and work could begin in weeks.

The Wallasey-born managing director of Prospect, Craig Blackwell, said: “Nobody wanted to see this building demolished, and as a local, I was keen to work with Nautilus and Wirral to see whether a deliverable scheme, acceptable to all parties could be brought forward.

“There has been fantastic goodwill and co-operation, and I think this is a win/win solution. It’s taken time to refine the details of this scheme, and I’m delighted that it has won the backing of councillors and the local community.”

In addition to the full restoration of Andrew Gibson House for 34 apartments, the scheme included four detached lodge houses and three apartment buildings, one of which will provide the Nautilus Welfare Fund with 26 apartments for retired mariners.

Mick Howarth from Nautilus Welfare Fund, added: “Andrew Gibson House is enormously important to us, and for over a century has been an integral part of our community at Mariners Park.

“It’s a beautiful piece of architecture, but it did not provide modern fit for purpose accommodation for our elderly and often infirm residents. It’s also an extremely challenging building that does not lend itself to simple or commercially viable conversion. We always needed an imaginative and bespoke solution.”

Plans FINALLY approved for famous derelict building with a spooky past after decade-long wait

Plans for a spooky, huge and derelict River Mersey landmark have finally been approved after a decade of trying.

Andrew Gibson House in Wirral will be transformed into over 100 plush apartments with views across to Liverpool, after proposals were approved by Wirral Council on Thursday.

Originally constructed over a century ago for the widows of sailors and men lost at sea, most of the building on Seabank Road in Wallasey will now be retained and converted.

The house itself, which has lay derelict for a decade and was in “serious jeopardy”, will become 34 apartments, with three further blocks built within the grounds to bring the total number of homes to 136.

An urban explorer who visited the mansion described it as “a bit haunted” where “you just get a weird cold feeling”.

At Wirral’s planning meeting on Thursday, councillors from all parties lauded the long-awaited scheme.

Ward member for Liscard, Bernie Mooney said: “What we have in front of us is a marvellous opportunity to restore the building. This will be quality housing in a fabulous area.

Mooney added: “One thing that’s missing in Liscard is that if you live in a big house, there’s nowhere to downsize. Something like this is desperately, desperately needed. It will enrich the area. [Plans for] the flats are absolutely beautiful.”

Committee member Cllr Ian Lewis said it was the kind of development “that proves we don’t need to build on the green belt”.

Cllr George Davies added he was “absolutely delighted with it”, while chair Cllr Steve Foulkes gave his view that it was “long overdue”.

He added: “It has taken nearly 10 years for a scheme of enough finance to actually create this.”

The heritage house narrowly escaped demolition in 2015. The council-approved development comes after a number of applications went through the planning process but didn’t come to fruition.

Andrew Gibson House was finished in 1906, and looks out over the Egremont promenade and River Mersey from its 2.8 acre site.

In addition to the full restoration of Andrew Gibson House for 34 apartments, the scheme included four detached lodge houses and three apartment buildings, one of which will provide the Nautilus Welfare Fund with 26 apartments for retired mariners.

Prospect Capital are keen to start work quickly on the scheme, starting with Andrew Gibson House, and are pledging to be on site within weeks. A total of 97 parking spaces will be provided.

It follows an agreement by Nautilus, Wirral Council and developers Prospect Capital to work together.

Mick Howarth from Nautilus Welfare Fund, said: “Andrew Gibson House is enormously important to us, and for over a century has been an integral part of our community at Mariners Park.

“It’s a beautiful piece of architecture, but it did not provide modern fit for purpose accommodation for our elderly and often infirm residents. It’s also an extremely challenging building that does not lend itself to simple or commercially viable conversion. We always needed an imaginative and bespoke solution.”

Andrew Gibson House conversion set to go ahead

Wirral’s derelict Andrew Gibson House, a former care home for widows of seafarers, is set to be transformed into 34 homes while three apartment blocks are to be built on an adjacent plot under proposals designed by architect Space Plus.

The Edwardian Andrew Gibson House, completed in 1906, has been left derelict for more than 10 years and has been threatened with demolition after it was found to no longer meet the requirements of its residents.

Demolition had been proposed, but a petition brought forward by Save Britain’s Heritage garnered nearly 6,000 signatures.

The building’s owner the Nautilus Welfare Fund, along with developer Prospect Capital, is now looking to bring forward a residential project which will see the existing building converted into 34 apartments.

Along with the conversion, there are also plans for three apartment blocks: a 26-unit block for the Nautilus Welfare Fund; and two residential blocks. The largest of these stands at four storeys and comprises 61 apartments, while a three-storey apartment block will also house 11 apartments.

There are also to be four houses on the site, one of which will be converted from an existing lodge building. The 26-apartment block will be run by the Nautilus Welfare Fund as specialist accommodation and is counted as affordable housing.

An appraisal submitted by the developer has also suggested any reduction in the number of apartments across the site would make the scheme unviable.

Some of the land on the site, which is next to the River Mersey promenade and Mariners Park, is owned by Wirral Council, which has worked with applicants through pre-application and planning application stage. Indigo is acting as planning consultant for the developer.

Council planning officers have now signalled their backing to the scheme, recommending it for approval when Wirral’s planning committee meets next week. A condition has been put forward to make sure the renovation of Andrew Gibson House is carried out before any new development.

Deal struck to secure Andrew Gibson house

A deal has been struck to secure the future of Andrew Gibson House, a landmark building that was formerly home to the widows of retired seafarers on the Wirral waterfront.

Owner Nautilus Welfare Trust, developer Prospect Capital and Wirral Council have agreed the principles of a scheme that will convert the vacant property in Wallasey into apartments, with enabling residential development and a new accommodation block for the charity built nearby.

Wirral Council has committed to selling a small piece of adjacent land to Prospect Capital that provides scope for a development that would be commercially deliverable as well as fulfilling the needs of Nautilus.

Craig Blackwell, managing director of Prospect Capital, said: “This is a great piece of local heritage and I am delighted that by working together ourselves, Nautilus and Wirral Council have come up with a solution that preserves the building, and gives Nautilus the quality future accommodation they need. It’s an outstanding location, and a development that combines sensitive restoration with high-quality modern design will be a great enhancement of the Wirral waterfront.”

Nautilus senior policy advisor Mike Jess said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have reached this agreement, which is a win-win for everyone.

“We have been seeking to do something with the Gibson House site for many years, and this three-way partnership makes it possible for the proceeds to go back to the charity to enable the development of new facilities for retired seafarers. As new research from the Maritime Charities Group demonstrates, the 30 new extra-care accommodation places will help to meet an increasingly acute need.”

Prospect Capital is working with Liverpool-based architect Space Plus on the proposals. It hopes that a full planning application for the site will now be submitted early in 2018, with work on the restoration of Andrew Gibson House starting in the spring.

Number 8 Water Street -Liverpool – The Residence – goes into planning for 3 extra floors

Developers of Number 8 Water St – The Residence – in Liverpool’s central business district have submitted plans to add an additional 3 floors to the current redevelopment. The conversion of the empty office on Water Street, next to Oriel Chambers and Martins Bank, into 96 apartments was passed last year with work well under way and the latest proposal to extend by several floors will take the total number of apartments to 123 in the scheme.

The 73,000 sq ft office was purchased by a partnership between long term business associates Craig Blackwell of Prospect Capital and Martin Wilcocks of Wilcocks & Wilcocks.

Plans for the 1970s building include a complete overhaul of the building’s façade, the installation of feature lighting throughout and under new plans a roof terrace. Works are ahead of schedule on lower floors – ground, 1st and 2nd and the build completion is still all on track for November.

Craig Blackwell commented “The work on the site for the current 96 apartments is all ahead of schedule and will retain the unique porthole styling in line with the architect’s original contemporary and minimalist vision. This building sits in the heart of one of the great streets in the business district, Water Street with views of the world famous waterfront. We now plan to add a roof terrace to residents can enjoy a fantastic space with breathtaking views of world heritage sites. Due to demand we have gone into planning for an additional 27 apartments.”

The additional units across 3 floors will take the site up to 8 storeys. Branded ash “Te Residence “the apartments currently range from studios to two-bedrooms with Ascot Property Investments acting as master agent on the development, for off plan sales.

Both partners have also recently moved their own companies, Wilcocks & Wilcocks and Prospect Capital into the building (which also now includes Ascot Property Investments to name but a few) which is a mix of commercial and residential.

Plans revealed for Liverpool’s tallest skyscraper

Plans have been revealed for a new skyscraper that would be Liverpool’s tallest building.

Developers Prospect Capital and Wilcocks & Wilcocks say they want to build a 48-storey tower called Ovatus 2 on the site of the mirrored glass data centre at the corner of Old Hall Street.

It would be 146.6m (480ft) tall – eight storeys higher than the city’s current tallest tower, the nearby 140m West Tower. That would officially make it a “ skyscraper ”.

It would include 530 apartments.

The two companies have already submitted plans to Liverpool council for the neighbouring Ovatus 1 , a 27-storey tower.

They say the double tower project is already fully funded and so work on the first tower could start as early as April, subject to planning permission.

The Shop Direct data centre will become vacant in 2018, so work on the second taller tower could not start until then.

Craig Blackwell of Prospect Capital said: “Following on from our Ovatus 1 application at the same site in Liverpool we feel that Ovatus 2 not only compliments the original tower but also makes a big statement as to where the market in Liverpool is now moving.

“We will be working with exactly the same team on both towers and are excited to be part of what will be the tallest building in Liverpool.

“With the city making huge strides since the 2008 Capital of Culture year this development, with its key gateway status in Liverpool, not only changes the vista of our world famous waterfront but is part of the city’s further expansion.”

Mr Blackwell and Martin Wilcocks, of Wilcocks and Wilcocks, have worked together on several city projects including the conversion of the 1970s office block 8 Water Street into apartments.

They bought the 122 Old Hall Street site , including the Shop Direct data centre, for £3.25m last year.

Mr Wilcocks said the first Ovatus tower had secured enough pre-sales to ensure it would be fully occupied on completion.

He said: “This is a highly visible, landmark location that stands at the gateway to Liverpool’s World Heritage site. We’re working with a strong team that we know will deliver the build in a way that does justice to its potential.

“Hoder+Partners, Indigo Planning, WSP and PlanIt are already doing fantastic jobs at the planning stage and we look forward to working closely with them all to bring the planned addition to the waterfront skyline into reality.”

Ovatus 2 has been designed by Hodder+Partners.

Ascot Property Investments have been appointed as agents to the scheme.

Director Stuart Howard said: “After huge success in Liverpool we are delighted to be appointed as Master agent and be involved in such a high profile development.

“Ovatus Towers will take over as Liverpool’s most prestigious development greeting commuters at the gateway to Liverpool City Centre and boasting stunning views across the city skyline.

“We are preparing for a launch of Tower 1 in April/May of this year and have already generated huge interest from both our overseas and UK investors as this is such a high profile development.”