The £6m Buddleia building – a key building in the ECHO’s Stop the Rot campaign – will form a cultural and business centre to encourage the talents of Liverpool’s black and ethnic communities.
Builders are on site at the Parliament Street building, and the first phase is expected to be completed by next summer.
It is expected to help create 200 jobs.
The grade II listed former warehouses are being transformed to offer room for voluntary organisations, social enterprise and business opportunities, and heritage, culture and the arts with galleries, exhibition and performance spaces.
The owner, the Novascharity, is already in talks with Culture Company officials about using it as a venue for Capital of Culture events.
Novas is pumping £9m into Liverpool, with the money going to restore the Buddleia building, fund a community development team which has made contact with 90 groups working in the community, and the creation of the Alima Centre in Sefton Street.
The seven-storey brick cotton warehouses are mid-19th century with 6,000sq ft of crypt space underneath.
A lift shaft has already been created by taking out part of each storey of the building, and the original wooden floors are being retained and restored.