Heap's Rice Mill

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

Charlie Schouten

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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Nimbys should be ignored. Get it built.

By Michael McManchester

Now this is great news. Well done Elliot Group and Valorem. Probably one of the best sites in the city, too: right next to John Lewis and overlooking the Royal Albert Dock.

By Sceptical

Excellent news ….heaps rice mill a very important building….glad a start is being made as building starting to deteriorate .

By Graham

Great if it happens. Fingers crossed

By Carl

Fantastic news

By Sam

Great news for this key site between Baltic Triangle and Liverpool ONE

By LEighteen

With Elliott’s track record this is good news indeed. A fantastic scheme in a fantastic location!

By Roscoe

Elliott really great isn’t he…..shall we all get a room for others him?

By Dappy

“We’re committed to maximising what will be one of the most significant profit creators in the city and I want to put another crane on the skyline for future clout in further boardroom presentations. A year-end start is in our sights before the housing market slumps after Brexit”

By John

This site still seems to be owned by the same offshore company (Quarrymen Investment Holdings) that bought it for £10.5m in 2015. So sold might just a more optimistic way of saying not sold.

By FactChecker

Fantastic, I bet this will be up and tenanted before that shambles Great George Street/New Chinatown has its first course of bricks laid.
Well done Elliot Group

By Alan

Another new build brown/orange building to add to all the other brown/orange heritage sympathetic buildings proposed or built in the Baltic area, waterfront, lime street, strand street, renshaw street, hope street, duke street and now Park Lane. Good to see this long derelict site developed but getting tired of the monotonous colour palette coming out of Liverpool City Centre.

By Anon

As we burst the boundaries of the historic core there will be greater scope for stand-alone ‘look-at-me’ buildings I’m sure: Pall Mall for example.
Our historic areas are very important and they sell Liverpool as a very distinctive place. We need to work with them not against them, but there’ll be more Paddy’s Wigwams, Pall Mall Towers and even perhaps Liver Buildings as we burst the boundaries of the old city I’m sure.

By Roscoe

Liverpool One is very successful and popular without being filled with dull red/orange brick buildings and also has given the city several good quality modern buildings in a range of tones, bricks and colours. It has also sympathetically restored historical warehouses and houses into a more interesting context as a result. I feel in this render that the original warehouse has fell into a sea of brown cladding and won’t stand out as a result.

By Anon