Altrincham’s long-running Altair development is set to get under way in June this year with McGoff Construction taking over from Eric Wright on the £70m scheme.
Eric Wright is understood to have walked away from the project, opposite the town’s railway station and ice rink, after being involved for around three years. The contractor had been brought on board in 2016 for the first phase, featuring 59 one and two-bed apartments opposite Tesco Extra on Bridge Street, and was originally due to start the scheme in summer of that year.
Demolition of the former garage on the site was completed more than a year ago, but since then, no construction work has taken place.
Nikal blamed the delays on late approvals for major infrastructure work, which involved liaising with Network Rail. It is understood other issues, including the discovery of a substation on the site, also led to increased construction costs and delays.
Nikal was granted outline planning permission for Altair site in January 2014; this was followed by approval for a second phase, featuring four buildings offering a total of 85 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, in July 2017.
The outline consent includes 96,000 sq ft of retail and restaurants, coffee shops and cafes, 150 apartments and townhouses, and 35,000 sq ft of offices, and a car park. A leisure centre was originally planned as part of the development, but Trafford Council is now looking to redevelop the existing leisure centre instead.
Around 60% of the apartments in phase one have been reserved.
Darren Jones, development director at Nikal, said: “Negotiating a new contract with a new contractor for a scheme of this scale and significance is not a quick and easy task.
“Thankfully, McGoff were known to us and have repeatedly demonstrated their considerable capabilities on a variety of successful projects. It’s also satisfying to be able to appoint a local Altrincham based business, with a track record in delivering housing, retail and leisure schemes, to what is an important development in their home town.
“To complement their existing longstanding supply chain, McGoff intends to carry out a targeted marketing campaign including a “meet the buyer” event to encourage local tradesmen and sub-contractors to bid for some of the sub contract packages.”
James Payne, managing director of Hillcrest Homes, added: “The delays have obviously been disappointing for ourselves and our customers but they have been incredibly patient and understanding. The majority have chosen not to exercise their right to cancel their reservation and receive a full refund. One positive for them is that Altrincham continues to thrive. Demand for new, high quality homes within the town centre remains high and the value of their apartments continues to increase. We will be delighted to finally make a start at Altair.”
McGoff Construction’s joint managing director Dave McGoff said: “McGoff Construction are delighted to support Nikal with the continued regeneration of our much loved home town. Not only is Altair a stunning addition to Altrincham’s skyline, such partnerships between like-minded locally based businesses will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the local economy.”
Nikal has been involved with Altair for more than a decade; planning consent for a scheme twice the size was granted in 2008. Nikal subsequently bought out the interest of joint venture partner David McLean following its collapse into administration as the financial crisis hit.