Crusader Mill

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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Fair play to capital and centric launching it for owner-occupiers only, nobody else has bothered, but £165k would still not be affordable for me!

By David R

It is truly lovely to see such a buzz about a building with such history and character. Better still that these houses will not be sold off overseas. There is no doubt though that the investment potential of the area is unrivalled in this part of the city when looking at the potential HS2 development. Whatever the price of these apartments is now it will be substantially more in 10 years time, definitely worth the 7 am que.

By Tommy

There’s no real mechanism in place for ensuring owner occupiers (other than the buyers’ word at time of purchase), therefore its just a marketing gimmick.

By Spock

Manchester’s renaissance miraculous.The city centre will be at Alan Turing Way before we know it and Cornbrook the other way.

By Elephant

How housing development should be carried out – For people to live in.

By Mike

@Spock, I think what is of note is that when you create homes in a place where people want to be, and make it know of the sort of community you’re looking to create, it will predominantly attract people who that appeals to.

For enforceability, it can be written into the terms of the lease that there can be no sub-letting (and therefore owner occupier only).

This is how some of Liverpool’s better buildings operate.

By Mike

Elephant – I’d love to see it, but Great Ancoats Street is a physical and psychological barrier between the existing centre and Alan Turning Way to the east, and likewise the Mancunian Way/A57 is to the west to Cornbrook.

Traffic needs to chill the f*ck out before we’re seeing that vision realised.

By Spock

@Spock @Mike I’m sure there could be some sort of uplift clause too

By SalfordLad

Yes, there are obviously pretty simple, and tested, ways to enforce this. But C&C have chosen not to have anything to actually ensure there are owner occupiers – other than taking people at their word. Therefore, its meaningless marketing puff.

By Spock

I agree with Spock – this IS marketing Hype – Not much life in Manchester now – I would not invest in Manchester – not in property – These restrictions to buying – not allowing investors – is a rubbish way to launch any project. Investors and in particular international investors are always the way forward – but even if I was an international investor right now (other than those successful businessmen from China – well impressed with China selling to the world – all their populations are rich now – that is a good thing) , I would not put any money in Manchester. Good luck to private residents – its a boring part of Manchester – and old Mill – yeah !!! I can see the only winners bing Capita & Centric — ha ha.. Buyer – Dont forget to check the small print!!!

By James B