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Corn Exchange hotel conversion recommended for approval

Plans to convert the Corn Exchange building in Liverpool into 202 serviced apartments have been recommended for approval by the city’s planning officers.

Under the plans, part of the ground and second to eighth floors of the Fenwick Street office block would be converted into an apart-hotel, offering studio, one bed and two bedroom suites.

Citing the building’s current vacancy rate of “almost 90%”, the owners are seeking alternative uses for the building due to demand for office accommodation being “extremely limited”.

The 108,000 sq ft building remains largely unoccupied at present, with law firm Hill Dickinson relocating its operations 18 months ago and Irish Ferries due to vacate the accommodation in May 2016.

According to the planning document: “The proposal to convert the building into hotel use is achievable because the building’s layout lends itself to a relatively easy and practical.”

The document adds that “The head of planning is satisfied that the development would enhance the appearance and economic vitality of Castle Street and the wider commercial quarter”.

If given the go ahead, the apart-hotel would be operated by StayCity, which operates serviced apartments throughout the city, including Duke Street.