‘Department store of experiences’ lined up for Lewis’s
Augur Group has lodged plans with Liverpool City Council to transform the grade two-listed landmark into a mixed-use leisure, retail, and commercial destination.
The Colman Architects-designed scheme intends to deliver a “department store of experiences” within the former Lewis’s department store on the corner of Ranelagh Street and Renshaw Street, according to a design and access statement.
Proposals focus on the vacant areas within the property. The developer hopes to retain the original essence of the Lewis’s store while adapting to emerging changes in the work and leisure sectors.
Augur is seeking flexible consent for the 68,000 sq ft of empty space, with potential uses ranging from a brewery and restaurant to escape rooms and mini golf.
The unnamed tenant also wishes to convert the empty sixth-floor office space into a 6,300 sq ft restaurant.
The nine-storey building is currently occupied by the 126-bedroom Adagio Aparthotel and a 25,000 sq ft PureGym. The remaining swathes have remained unoccupied since Lewis’s closure in 2007.
The original Lewis’s store was first opened at the same city centre location in 1856 and expanded through the decades. The current building was constructed around 1947 after most of the original store was destroyed in The Blitz.
Augur acquired the 400,000 sq ft landmark in 2017.
Before the site changed hands, developers Merepark and Ballymore had advanced plans for a scheme called Central Village on the land between Lewis’s and Central Station with restaurant operators including Nando’s signed up.
However, the project suffered numerous delays due to the 2008 crash and never advanced.
Quod is the scheme’s planning consultant. The project team also includes Futureserv and Adapt Heritage.
Want to learn more about the plans? Search for application numbers 23F/1997 and 23L/2086 on Liverpool City Council’s planning portal.