LPA receiver David Currie & Co is seeking cash offers for the stalled development, a 306-bedroom hotel in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle.
The company was appointed earlier this month to recover a charge lodged by Virtuoso Investments, a company based in the Seychelles that had invested in the scheme.
Work to build the 16-storey hotel Norfolk Street was being carried out by Newry Construction. However, it stalled last year after investors backed out following the arrest of Elliot Group founder Elliot Lawless in December 2019. Lawless was subsequently released on bail, which expired in March, and no charges have been brought.
Last April, the High Court ruled that a Merseyside Police search of Lawless’ property at the time of the arrest was unlawful and the police agreed to settle the claim.
In a statement to Place North West, Lawless said the Epic Hotel scheme was “a casualty of the media coverage surrounding the unlawful police search warrants executed at my properties more than a year ago.
“Many of the investors in the scheme had backed me to deliver more than 2,500 homes but the police’s actions spooked them and they have chosen not to proceed with the scheme. New investors were similarly deterred.”
Lawless said he hopes investors with a stake in Epic Hotel will not lose their investment, and added that he is eyeing a deal similar to that struck at the £100m Aura student accommodation scheme, in which investors acquired the ownership of the project from Elliot Group and are delivering it themselves.
Lawless added: “[Marketing Epic Hotel for sale] is a proactive move in conjunction with the scheme’s investors to test the market value for the site. We agreed to appoint an LPA receiver as an administration is more time-consuming and costly.
“My focus is on ensuring that none of the investors lose any money. I achieved that with our Aura scheme and the aim is the same here. It’s a cracking site and the appetite for development in Liverpool remains very strong so we’re expecting plenty of interest.”
Designed by architect Falconer Chester Hall, the hotel element was first proposed in 2017 to be operated by Vincent, before Epic Hospitality Group replaced the hotelier in July 2018. The £70m project also includes permission for 54 apartments.
David Currie & Co last week agreed to sell another stalled Liverpool project to Legacie Developments. In November, work stopped on the second phase of Assetcorp’s Parliament Residence, 145-apartments in the Baltic Triangle, before a receiver was appointed. Around 140 investors are set to lose deposits put down on one- and two-bedroom apartments that were being marketed for sale at £120,000 and £150,000 respectively.