Joint administrators Paul Cooper and David Rubin, from David Rubin & Partners, have announced plans for the developer’s three stalled schemes which they were appointed to last week, and remain “optimistic” a rapid completion process will be implemented.
In a statement, Paul Cooper said: “I have spent time in both Liverpool and Manchester this week in order to get an overview of the situation regarding all three developments. I am optimistic that David Rubin & Partners will be able to implement a rapid process to ensure these developments are able to be completed, providing both state of the art student and residential accommodation.
“There are multiple stakeholders here and our team will shortly be in contact with all relevant parties to provide an update and inform them of the next steps to be taken by the joint administrators.”
Cooper and Rubin were appointed as the joint administrators for The Residence in Manchester, and Aura and Infinity in Liverpool, announced on 13 March after Elliot Group failed to raised necessary funds amid a police investigation into the developer’s founder, Elliot Lawless.
Lawless obtained a judicial review of his arrest before Christmas on suspicions of fraud, and a subsequent police search of his home.
“The police action in searching my home and office last December is now the subject of a claim for judicial review which I have brought before the High Court in London. An expedited hearing was ordered last week,” Elliot Lawless said in a statement to media today.
Lawless, who denies fraud allegations against him and Nick Kavanagh, the head of regeneration at Liverpool City Council, said his company Elliot Group has “explored every option available, but in light of the investigation, existing investors were cautious about backing the projects to their conclusion”.
The appointment of administrators followed the announcement that developer-contractor Vermont Group was in talks to take over development of the stalled £100m Aura scheme in Liverpool, which have since fallen through. Vermont was previously on site as main contractor for the 1,000 bedroom student development at the edge of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter.
Lawless said: “As we enter the administration process, we’ll continue to work proactively with investors to explore how we can help them crystallise their investments and get the projects completed.
“They are good schemes in great locations, and I want to see them through. We’ve delivered 100% of all our schemes in the past and I am intent on maintaining that track record.”
At the end of February, Lawless pledged to inject his own funds into the ailing schemes. He said his focus now is on working with the administrator to keep the projects alive.