Infinity CGI April 2017 2

Elliot eyes more Manchester sites as Liverpool schemes progress

Charlie Schouten

Elliot Group is looking to secure more sites in Manchester, including a “landmark, high-rise” residential scheme, as some of its planned Liverpool developments push on. Place North West took a tour of the developer’s projects in the city to see how they were progressing.

Falconer Chester Hall has secured its status as Elliot Group’s preferred architect, having designed the bulk of the developer’s projects, including the three-tower Infinity residential scheme on Leeds Street, which will house more than 1,000 apartments once complete.

The practice’s managing director Adam Hall was on hand to give Place North West a Porsche-driven tour of some of Elliot Group’s developments in Liverpool, and an insight into what Elliot has planned for the future.

The tour showcases a remarkable ramping up of activity for Elliot Group, which has 18 developments worth £776m across three cities. The developer, headed up by 30-year-old Elliot Lawless, was only founded in 2013, and has delivered a handful of medium-size residential and student accommodation schemes in the North West so far.

Key points include:

  • Progress at a 16-storey waterfront hotel
  • A New Year start for the restoration of the Georgian-era Percy Place
  • Ongoing discussions with contractors on the £250m Infinity towers
  • Elliot’s plans for a “landmark, high-rise” project in Manchester

First up is Wolstenholme Square, which is well under way, having started on site in March 2016. The development, being built by Elliot Group’s favoured contractor Newry, includes four new buildings varying in height between one and 10 storeys. These will house 447 primarily studio apartments, alongside ground floor commercial space.

According to Hall, the development’s second block is due to complete in the coming weeks. Next door, an industrial unit will be knocked down to house a further phase of Wolstenholme Square, including an 11-storey apartment block. This next phase, Hall said, is in for planning and will progress soon.

Wolstenholme Square

Wolstenholme Square started on site in March 2016

Next are two hotel developments, both of which are slated to be operated by Vincent Hotels. The first, an 116-bedroom aparthotel with a rooftop pool and spa on Seel Street, is progressing well, with Newry again the main contractor. The steel-framed development is just around the corner from Wolstenholme Square.

The other hotel is rather grander in scale; Elliot is planning to build the 16-storey project at the western end of Norfolk Street. It will be a combination of apartments, hotel space, and offices. Hall said this project will start on site next year with negotiations ongoing with a number of interested contractors.

Vincent Hotel

Work on the 16-storey waterfront hotel is expected to start next year

A stone’s throw away, a former Elliot Group site, now owned by housing firm Inhabit, remains undeveloped, but Hall said he expected progress on the site next year.

In a departure from the developer’s new-build schemes, our next visit is to Percy Place. The Georgian terraces are much different to what we have seen previously but are clearly in dire need of restoration.

Elliot plans to restore the nine townhouses into family homes and apartments; Hall said the development will be determined by planners “within weeks”. Subject to approval, main contractor Newry is likely to start on site early in the New Year.

Next is what will be Elliot Group’s landmark development for the city, the £250m, three-tower Infinity project. Granted planning permission in April, the scheme includes three towers of 39, 33, and 27 storeys, more than 1,000 apartments, a triple-height spa, gym, and pool, and more than 10,000 sq ft of commercial space.

The developer has already confirmed a 2018 start date for the project with Mees Demolition starting clearance work in the New Year. Hall refused to be drawn on who the main contractor might be, but added he anticipates work will include the excavation of basements for all three towers at the same time, before works on the 27-storey tower begin – increasing the likelihood one company will deliver all three towers.

Infinity

A number of major contractors are understood to be lining up to build the £250m Infinity

Hall said he envisaged the scheme’s design whilst living in Kuala Lumpur; perhaps a hint at the overseas investors that are likely to snap up apartments at Infinity. With sales progressing, however, Hall is confident there will be definite progress on the scheme’s construction early next year. Pressed on the main contractor, Hall declined to name names, but pointed towards “one of the big boys” for the scheme and adds that negotiations are ongoing with a number of interested parties.

So what next for the developer? Run by Lawless, who Hall describes as “a local lad done good”, the company clearly has ambitions beyond its traditional Liverpool heartland. It has already started its £70m The Residence project in Salford, with Forrest on board as main contractor, and according to Hall, it has its eyes on more – particularly another “landmark, high-rise” residential development.

And that’s good news for Falconer Chester Hall, which has already taken over the role of project architect on 34-storey The Residence, which was designed by Jeffrey Bell. The practice now hopes Elliot will secure more sites in and around Greater Manchester and has ambitions to expand its existing presence by following one of Liverpool’s major developers into the Manchester market, which will help establish the practice as one of North West’s leading architects.

AH B&W Headshot1

Hall hopes Elliot Group’s expansion into Manchester can help his practice grow in the region

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“Porsche-driven tour” indeed…

By Dennis Nails

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