The Observatory in Liverpool has been sold by Promenade Estates to social housing company Torus for £3.65m.  The 21,000 sq ft glazed office building will become the head office for the expanded housing group following its recent merger with Liverpool Mutual Homes.

 The building was the last piece of the 660,000 sq ft jigsaw that was the redevelopment of Queen Square and has been fully let since its completion 18 years ago.  It was designed by the Liverpool studio of Falconer Chester Hall.

 The award-winning mixed-use development is acknowledged as having transformed Liverpool’s appeal to occupiers and institutional investors in the late nineties, ultimately leading to the hugely successful Liverpool ONE project.

 “This was the first institutional-grade development in the city for years and it changed the outlook on Liverpool,” says Promenade managing director Daniel Hynd.

 “We secured blue chip retail, hotel, office and leisure occupiers and they’re all still thriving.  I’m delighted that the Observatory has become the HQ for such a prominent regional organisation,” he adds.

 Commenting on the acquisition, Steve Coffey, Torus chief executive, said:

 “As a housing group, our focus is on investing in our three heartland areas of Liverpool, St Helens and Warrington; building new homes, improving existing ones and delivering initiatives that change lives.

 “Our purchase of The Observatory underlines our long-term to commitment to Liverpool, its people and the communities we serve.”

 The sale follows other recent disposals by Promenade, including the fully-let Marine Point development in New Bright to Aprirose, the Ramada Plaza leisure scheme in Southport to Bliss Estates and a major waterfront residential scheme overlooking Liverpool’s Albert Dock to Vista Fund.

 “We have a substantial fighting fund for re-investment in Liverpool and remain on the look-out for suitable opportunities,” said Daniel Hynd.

 “The city’s economy continues to grow steadily and we stand ready to contribute further,” he added.

 Andrew Owen of Worthington Owen advised Promenade Estates on the disposal.  Torus represented itself.  Brabners acted for both parties on the legals.  The yield was not disclosed.