The multi-million-pound redevelopment of the iconic Dock Office into 67 luxury apartments is almost complete.Liveman Properties, set up by brothers Michael and Guy Marsden, are behind the landmark scheme at Salford Quays.
The pair, who bought the Dock Office out of administration two years ago, have since overseen the transformation of the art deco Grade II listed building which had stood largely vacant for more than a decade.
This has involved securing a planning consent for a two-storey addition to the building to create the penthouse duplexes which look out across the Dock.After being constructed in 1927 by Harry Fairhurst and Son the Dock Office became an integral part of Manchester Docks which went on to handle around two million tonnes of cargo a year and at its peak employed more than 3,500 workers.
Michael and Guy revealed why they jumped on the opportunity to revitalise the unique scheme ‘central to the culture of Salford and Manchester past and present’.
“It’s a very exciting time,” said Michael, who has more than 20 years’ experience in residential property development.The Dock Office offered an extraordinary opportunity to create high ceiling living space with a fantastic quality of light.The 67 apartments are almost complete with 59 of them already sold to a mix of owner occupiers and investors.”
“It’s simply going to be a great place to live and the remaining penthouses will be released soon. We also feel the scheme fits in with the wider regeneration of Salford Quays. Almost uniquely all of these penthouses will be provided with two dedicated car parking spaces.”
The Dock Office is the first redevelopment scheme undertaken by Liveman Properties, after the Marsden brothers set the company up three years ago.
Liveman was granted planning permission to transform the building into 67 apartments within nine months of the date of acquisition due to a close working relationship with Salford City Council and the sensitivity shown by their architect, Billy Hodge of DV Architects, in dealing with the challenges of the scheme.
The 61,249 sq ft NIA Dock Office on Trafford Road – and standing at the former gateway to the docks, the Lowry Outlet Mall and Lowry Arts Centre – will be a mix of one, two, three and four bedroom apartments and will complete in November this year.
Guy was also enthused by the potential of the development.
“We knew it was a great opportunity to do something different,” said Guy whose background is firmly associated with commercial property development.What we had was an opportunity in the regional market to combine our skills and backgrounds. Michael’s strength is in residential and mine in development. The working relationship has been seamless between myself and Michael,” added Guy. “We have very different skillsets but they are complimentary. It’s proved to be a very effective way of doing things. The Dock Office is premium space and we are delighted that so many people appreciate what we have done here.”
Despite redevelopment over the past 12 months the Dock Office has retained its distinctive off white colour and boasts period features with a stunning staircase, impressive entrance hall, high ceilings and large windows. The lower floors benefit from unique private entrances and gardens.
Michael, who lives in Hale, said: “Guy has colossal commercial development expertise.Working with Guy has been really comfortable. It’s remarkable, in fact it’s even surprised me. The Dock Office was a standalone one-off opportunity to redevelop – as it is based in such a unique setting. It also helped that both myself and Guy loved it. We’ve been able to share that enthusiasm with Salford City Council and English Heritage plus others who have been involved.”
He added: “The Dock Office is central to both Salford and Manchester culture. There’s almost no one who doesn’t know someone who’s worked in the Dock Office building. “
“It relates strongly to the history of Salford Quays and is one of most important buildings to have ever existed there, if not the most important.”
Julie Twist Properties is marketing The Dock Office on behalf of Liveman Properties and will launch the duplex penthouse apartments at a VIP showcase event on Wednesday 23rd November 2016.