Elliot eyes start after buying back £170m Heap’s Mill

The developer, working in a JV with Valorem Investment Partners, has bought back the 781-home scheme in Liverpool, three-and-a-half years after selling the plot to Inhabit.

Elliot Group first secured planning permission to develop the site in October 2014, before selling the plot to Inhabit a year later; however, the scheme never came forward, and Inhabit has now sold the site back to a company set up by Elliot and Valorem Investment Partners.

The development, which includes four blocks plus the listed Heap’s Rice Mill, will also include 12,000 sq ft of ground-floor restaurant and retail space set around a new public square. The blocks reach up to 16 storeys, and the scheme has been designed by architect Falconer Chester Hall.

The joint venture between Elliot and Anthony Maxwell-Jones of Valorem has now promised to start the project in the last quarter of this year, with the development to be delivered on a phased basis. As a start on site had previously been made by Inhabit, the planning permission from 2014 is still extant.

Discussions with funding partners and occupiers are understood to be ongoing with announcements expected in the coming months; conversations are also taking place with contractors to deliver the scheme.

Apartments in the listed Heap’s Rice Mill part of the scheme will be reserved for “local owner-occupiers”, according to Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group. He said: “Heap’s Mill is a fantastic building that lends itself more to owner occupiers who want heritage and extra space.

“Buyers will have to commit to live there themselves and we see that as helping embed a stable community in the wider development.

Lawless added: “We want to get cracking and build momentum behind the scheme.  We’re committed to delivering what will be one of the most significant projects in the city and I want to put another crane on the skyline.  A year-end start is in our sights.”

Inhabit, formerly known as Residential Securities and headed up by Brandon Hollihan and Michael Kovacs, had promised a 3,500-home PRS pipeline in April 2016, including both Heap’s Rice Mill and its 10-12 Whitworth Street site in Manchester. However, to date, none of these homes have come forward.

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