Hive of activity for iconic department store building as part of multi-million pound redevelopment

THE transformation of one of Warrington’s iconic buildings is underway with a multi-million redevelopment of the former Co-op and TJ Hughes store on the corner of Sankey Street and Cairo Street.

Recently advertised for sale at £1.9million, the building opposite Golden Square has been bought for a multi-million pound development which will be known as ‘The Hive WA1’.

The building as a whole was designed by architect John Douglas around 1864, but was substantially rebuilt around 1908.

‘The Hive WA1’ is a three story corner property covering a massive 80,000 square feet. There are plans to convert the building into a single destination which will be developed for a number of facets and will be a hive of activity for both play and play.

The ground floor at the turn of the last century would originally have been the main department store of the Co-Operative Society – with grocers, drapers, provision merchants, bakers and cobblers. The space is being transformed into a Boutique Shopping Mall consisting of 26 units that can be rented alone or combined. These start as small as 170 square feet all the way up to 2800 square feet and the site is looking for retail operators to occupy this prime space. Florists, cafes, wine merchants, men’s and women’s fashion, hairdressers, hair salon, restaurant, bar and jewelers – all inquiries [email protected] There are potential additional storage facilities in the basement so that both floors can be connected and a large good delivery area at the rear.

The first floor is being transformed into the Brass Monkey Sports bar, due to open in late April 2022. Expect a cocktail bar, shuffleboard, pool tables, live music, a DJ and large screens showing all the latest sporting events. The front part of this floor is for rent for prime offices and a co-working space is also envisaged as well as a gym.

The second floor houses the original 1910 Members’ Hall where a plaque celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Warrington Co-Operative Society (then known as the Warrington Equitable Industrial Co-Operative Society). Memorial Hall would have been used by members for events and an in situ plaque was kept up to date with details of presidents until the outbreak of World War II.

The ballroom was a popular meeting place for United States Army personnel based at Burtonwood Air Force Base.

The Warrington Equitable Industrial Co-Operative Society was originally established in Cairo Street in 1860. By the time Memorial Hall was established in this building in 1910, the Warrington Co-Op Society had grown to 9,000 members , 8 other branches and a turnover of £75,000 (£5 million in current terms). The members’ hall was named “Birchall-Rathbone Memorial Hall”. Rathbone is named after Arthur Hornby Rathbone, who died in 1909 and was a former general secretary of the Warrington Co-Op. Birchall was Thomas Birchall, former president of the Warrington Co-Operative who died in 1905. The plan is to reinvent this space into a large conference and banqueting hall and bring it back to life.

Plans are also underway to seek permission for a panoramic rooftop Sky Garden, following the success of the San Lorenzo terrace in Palmyra Square, there is a large 10,000 square foot flat roof space which offers incredible views to the west. Plans show an island bar, 4 street kitchens and seating for over 300 people.

All in all, an exciting project that is sure to become a mecca for hospitality, shopping and offices all under one roof.

Expected to be open by late Summer/Fall 2022, please email all inquiries to [email protected] and check all details on the website www.thehivewa1.com