The four-star hotel will overlook the Royal Albert Dock in what is the first major deal at the Heap's Rice Mill site
Irish firm Dalata Hotel Group has announced it is to open a new site under its Maldron branding at a controversial Liverpool development. The 260-room development will overlook the Royal Albert Dock at Heap's Rice Mill - a site that was bought back earlier this year by the same developer - Elliot Group - who sold it just four years ago. It's the first major deal at Heap's Rice Mill, with Dalata's four-star Maldron hotel its first to open in Liverpool.
Dalata also announced on Wednesday that its second half of the year ending December 31 will be in line with market expectations - despite "tougher than anticipated market conditions in Dublin". The firm said its UK portfolio has continued to perform "very strongly", with its regional city hotels performing "particularly well", and all outperforming their city markets.
The Liverpool deal was contingent on a new planning approval that sought permission to convert one of four new-build residential blocks to a hotel, with the building’s height reduced from twelve storeys to nine. That permission was granted on December 10.
Elliot Lawless said: "Liverpool’s economy is in good shape and there’s an appetite among end-users to participate in its continued growth. I’m delighted that we can bring such a high quality operator to the city. Since acquiring the Park Lane site in June we’ve moved quickly to drive the project forward and credit is due to all parties for concluding the deal in a tight timescale.”
In 2015, Heap's Rice Mill was sold by Liverpool developers Elliot Group to Inhabit for £130m, but no construction work followed. Concerns were later raised over its deteriorating state, with trees even seen growing out of the upper levels due to long-term neglect. But in July, Elliot Lawless' Elliot Group announced it has bought back the One Park Lane development, which incorporates the rice mill, with the gross development value of the scheme £170m.
The entire development comprises of four new blocks plus the listed Heap’s Rice Mill, and will be based around a new public square surrounded by 781 apartments and 12,000 square feet of ground floor restaurant and retail units. The development is a joint venture between Elliot and Valorem Investment Partners, with the hotel having taken on a long lease.
Anthony Maxwell-Jones of Valorem said: “The signing of the Maldron Hotel at Park Lane will act as a catalyst for the development. We’re now aiming for a New Year start to ensure we maintain our momentum across the site.”
Dermot Crowley, deputy chief executive of Dalata Hotel Group Plc, added: “I am delighted that we are today announcing another new project in the UK, the Maldron Hotel Liverpool. Liverpool has been a key target city for Dalata due to the strong mix of corporate and leisure business.”
Elliot Group and Valorem say that they are now in discussions with funders for the scheme’s three new-build residential blocks, which include a 16-storey tower on the corner of Park Lane. The refurbishment of the listed Heap’s Rice Mill is separate from these discussions and remedial works have been undertaken on the mill since its acquisition to ensure it retains is physical integrity before commencing the full works next year. Hill Dickinson in Liverpool advised Elliot and Valorem on the deal, whilst Squire Patton Boggs acted for Dalata.