Buyer found for Middlewood Locks

An offer has been accepted and lawyers are being instructed to conclude the sale of the 21-acre development site in Salford, according to agents GL Hearn.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year, according to Stephen Downey, corporate diorector of GL Hearn, advisor to Martin Ellis and Andrew Hosking of Grant Thornton, joint administrators of previous site owner Valley & Vale. The administrators were appointed by Santander.

Downey said the identity of the buyer could not be revealed at this stage but added: "Middlewood Locks is one of those unique opportunities that comes along due to unforeseen circumstances and gives those parties who are well funded or access to funds an opportunity to buy a very large tranche of land with outline planning consent on the edge of the city centre at what could be described as normal or sensible pricing levels.''

Middlewood Locks, across the River Irwell from the Granada complex on the edge of Manchester city centre, has outline planning consent for a total of 2.55m sq ft of mixed use, residential, retail, leisure and commercial uses.

Downey said 100 enquiries received following a national marketing campaign. He added: "Middlewood Locks is the first large undeveloped site in Manchester to be brought to the market since the financial crisis and therefore the level of interest and enquiries received is a good sounding board as to the state of the market and the appetite to still do large scale land transactions.

"Interestingly as a reflection of the times we are now in, financial backing on offers came mainly from private equity and, not surprisingly, no bank debt, a number of established funds in partnership with and without developers. Enquiries came from outside the region with the introduction of some new names over and above the usual recognised North West players."

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Good news. Ever since the site was cleared for the proposed snowdome, I’ve always thought it had fantastic potential and I look forward to this, hopefully, being fulfilled. Let’s just hope any scheme improves on the neighbouring apartment scheme, which was dated from the moment it went up.

By Qwerty

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