Buyers’ reaction to Crusader ‘not seen since pre-recession’

All apartments put up for sale last weekend in Capital & Centric’s grade two-listed Crusader mill in Manchester city centre were reserved by owner-occupiers, equating to a potential sale value of more than £7m, the developer has said.

Capital & Centric released a tranche of 20 flats for purchase at an open-invitation event on Saturday 15 July, attended hundreds of people. By lunchtime all were reserved, and a further 10 were released, which also sold. Flats started at £165,000.

The developer announced last month that all of the 201 apartments planned in the mill conversion and its extension would be sold only to people who planned to live in the properties, rather than overseas investors.

Capital & Centric acquired the 200,000 sq ft cluster of mill and warehouse buildings on Fair Street, Chapeltown Street, Congou Street and Baird Street off-market in late 2015. In summer 2016 it secured planning permission for a scheme designed by Shedkm that includes 201 apartments, with 126 apartments in the existing mill and a further 75 apartments in an adjacent new 10-storey building.

Some of the mill buildings are linked, forming a central courtyard, which will be landscaped as part of the scheme.

A start on site is expected in September, with the first 126 loft apartments ready by summer 2019.

Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “We knew there was a buzz building around Crusader, but we couldn’t have predicted the sheer level of excitement from the people that walked through the door.

“It was a pleasure to see this beautiful old building alive with people once again – people that ultimately cannot wait to live here and make it their home.  That’s not something I’ve seen in Manchester for a long time.”

Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “People were queuing from 7am in the morning to make sure they got in first. We’ve not seen that since the pre-recession days of 2007. It shows that we’ve struck a chord with people who really want a piece of Manchester they can call their own.

“It was awesome to see future neighbours swapping phone numbers and discussing what drew them to the mill. That’s what it’s all about for us. Real people and real communities who care about the places they live.”

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