Investor Cert Property has acquired the stalled £14m residential scheme opposite Manchester’s O2 Apollo music venue and intends to build 45 apartments for private rent.
The scheme close to the Manchester Royal Infirmary in Ardwick was originally intended to deliver 39 residential units across six storeys. Designed by architect Ollier Smuthwaite and known as Polygon Street, it originally won planning permission in February 2014 and construction started in 2016.
The original contractor was Cheshire Acres, which went into administration, and the scheme was later taken over by main contractor Kettle & Talbot on behalf of a private developer.
Cert Property has now agreed a “rescue deal” – the value of which was not disclosed – to acquire the scheme and restart work on site. Under reworked plans from the developer, the scheme will now be a PRS offer, with 45 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments targeted at key workers, young professionals and students.
The building will also contain communal work and leisure spaces for the tenants, according to Cert. The company has submitted a planning application to Manchester City Council to increase the residential offer to 45 units and allow for a more flexible amenity use space within the scheme.
Subject to planning permission. Polygon is scheduled to complete in May 2021, and Cert’s in-house CERT’s residential property management division will manage the scheme on completion.
Howard Lord, founder of Cert Property, said the deal is the result of 18 months of working with Polygon’s investors and other stakeholders.
“Our initial involvement was based on a desire to protect investors’ interests and we took on the responsibility to find a solution that would enable the scheme to be delivered and return as much capital as possible to the investors.
“To say it was a challenging year to try and find such a solution is an understatement and I believe the patience and dedication of our team was the only reason why this stalled site doesn’t haunt the area for years to come.
“We are excited now to complete the scheme and start welcoming residents.”
Rob Talbot, director at Kettle and Talbot, added: “This is a development that Ardwick deserves, and we are really looking forward to completing this flagship project.”
Another scheme called The Polygon on the same street was being built by contractor Galliford Try Partnerships in 2016 on behalf of the S4B private finance initiative consortium comprising investor Equitix, Galliford Try, social landlord Contour Homes and maintenance contractor Mears Group.
Designed by architect Buttress, that ‘The Polygon’ scheme contains commercial and residential units over three storeys, including 18 two-bedroom apartments for council rent and a housing management office on the ground floor and four retail units. Planning permission for that scheme was granted in May 2013 with Paul Butler Associates as the planning consultant.