Princes Reach Speculation Grows.

It came as part of a three-way wave of new development announcements for Liverpool’s burgeoning waterfront district. A huge delegation of Councillors and property developers had gone to MIPIM 2015 to drum up support and financing for the expansion of public space along the north shore of the city centre.

Amongst the jostle of one of the busiest property shows on earth, the team representing Liverpool signed off on a huge new scheme – it’s name: Princes Reach.

This was to be the start of the £5.5bn Liverpool Waters development. The first out of the gates. The trail blazer. The great hope.

Princes Reach is the result of a deal between developer Moda Living and Middle East private real estate investment firm Apache Capital Partners. It will be 40-storeys high and house 325 apartments according to details released last year. A planning application was expected to be submitted last Autumn. It came and went. Nothing.

Now a year has past. The scheme has been gestating in the minds of all those driving the plan forward, and something is stirring… tiny leaks have started to appear. Little snippets of information.

Last week on Twitter, a clue was left as to the design we are all waiting for. When pushed about how Princes Reach would look via user Sam Egerton, there was this response:

“We are working on an NYC-style design that is in keeping with waterfront heritage. Not too long now!”

This tallies with what we at Future Liverpool heard last month – an Art Deco design was coming forward, but that the height had been reduced slightly. If so this would be great, as it would comfortably sit next to the majesty of the three graces at the Pier head, whilst highlighting the aim of quality going forward with the entire Liverpool Waters project.

Liverpool Waters will span the disused docklands going from Princes docks to Bramley Moore docks. Thats 60 hectares, and five new districts of city!

So what can we hope for?

Liverpool-based Falconer Chester Hall are working on this design. Its their home city. They know how important this is.

Examples of classic Art Deco skyscrapers are of course the 101-storey Empire State building and the 77-storey Chrysler building in New York. We won’t be getting anything like that height here, but still – NYC is mentioned, so we can take their design as example. Modern examples of Art Deco skyscrapers do actually exist, if you do a bit of research.

Our bet is on Princes Reach resembling the 35-storey 400 West Market tower in Louisville, Kentucky. This structure was designed by architects John Burgee and Philip Johnson, and was completed in 1993 at the cost of $100 million. It feature strong vertical lines, a repeating evenly-spaced symmetrical window pattern, and has a stone facade – much like classic skyscrapers. It is topped with the flourish of a Romanesque dome, which lends beauty and functionality. The dome lights up at night, and can change colours for special events.

MIPIM 2016 approaches

Speculation is rife that we will see the designs of Princes Reach during the 2016 MIPIM show, of which Liverpool are sending a record delegation. It starts on 15th-18th March.

Just what will it look like? Will it please people? What will it say about Liverpool Waters? Let us wait and see…




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9th March 2016 by Chris Gibson
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