Kellen Homes, part of the developer behind Manchester’s Deansgate Square and Crown Street apartment schemes, has acquired Vernon Works in Royton and plans to redevelop it into housing.
The property – a 116-year-old mill on High Barn Street – was sold by publicly listed investor The Character Group for £3.5m on an unconditional basis, the parties said. Real estate agency Davies Harrison acted for The Character in the deal and Grasscroft Property acted for Kellen.
Prior to the sale completing, Kellen had begun distributing consultation leaflets to local residents informing them of its plans to demolish the mill buildings and replace them with around 100 new homes. The homes would reportedly be a mix of low-rise two-, three- and four-bedroom family houses, under Kellen’s early-stage proposals.
The scheme would be Kellen parent Renaker’s first residential development venture outside Manchester city centre. Kellen was previously known as Renaker Homes.
Mark Calvert, land director at Kellen and Renaker, said: “Kellen Homes is excited to have acquired this redundant brownfield site. We aim to develop the site into a multi-tenure, sustainable development that provides much-needed high-quality housing.
“The development will cater for a range of occupiers, including families, couples and individuals. Our proposals will facilitate the regeneration of the site and inject much-needed investment into the local area.”
Davies Harrison director Rick Davies added: “Kellen Homes’ speculative purchase of this mill is indicative of its confidence in the area, which continues to benefit from significant investment.
“The majority of interest we received in this property was from developers as the mill had come to the end of its economic life. We had a number of offers for this building but Kellen’s ability to move quickly on an unconditional basis made them the optimum purchaser.”
This month, Kellen hired former Countryside Properties’ executive Ian Kelley as a director to help it expand the division. Kelly previously served as chief executive of the housebuilder’s Northern partnerships business.