A group of investors has bought the 82-apartment scheme on Chruch Street in Eccles for £1.1m following the collapse of the previous developer Lyceum Manchester, a vehicle owned by Goodwin’s Construction Services Group, which is in administration.
Work on the redevelopment of the town’s former Crown Theatre stopped last year before FRP Advisory was appointed as administrator to both Goodwin’s and the special purpose vehicle in December.
Since then, Mitchell Walsh, director of Liverpool-based Elevace, which was the sales agent for the £15m Lyceum development, has founded the Lyceum Investors Group, a company set up to act in the interests of the scheme’s 27 investors.
Walsh coordinated the sale of the scheme back to the investors with accountancy firm Cowgills, which replaced FRP as administrator of Lyceum Manchester in February.
“It was a really worrying time for us and we didn’t want to see investors lose their funds. We have managed to turn what could have been a disaster into a positive situation,” Walsh said.
One investor that Place North West spoke to praised Walsh for his transparency throughout the process and said “unity between investors has been the single key factor” in the scheme being saved.
So far, 40 of the 82 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments have been sold to 27 investors who have paid 30% deposits on flats worth between £145,000 and £238,500.
Six of the 40 flats have been sold since the investors took control of the site.
Lyceum Investors Group plans to spend an additional £7m to complete the scheme and is in the process of securing development funding.
A contractor is expected to be appointed in the coming weeks and the project is around 12 months away from completion, according to Walsh.