Victoria Hs3

Stalled Pinnacle site bought by London developer

Charlie Schouten

A subsidiary of London-based AR&V Investments has bought the stalled Victoria House project in Liverpool for £2.35m from the administrators of collapsed developer Pinnacle.

Pinnacle Residential Liverpool, which had planned to convert the offices on James Street into 70 apartments, collapsed in April this year owing £2.2m to its investors. Pinnacle pre-sold 34 of the apartments to investors, primarily based overseas, with prices ranging from £66,250 to £161,400, generating revenue of more than £2.4m.

These funds were held in a buyers’ company, and around £2.1m of this was released to Pinnacle.

Brochures marketing the project overseas suggested the scheme would complete by the end of 2017, but very little work has taken place, and while Goodwin Construction was attached as main contractor and had completed the strip-out. It is understood the company is no longer involved with the project.

According to a statement of affairs by the company’s director Carl Mills, the company owed investors nearly £2.2m at the time of its administration, while £576,000 is owed to unsecured trade creditors

Dow Schofield Watts were called in as administrators in April and subsequently looked to find a buyer for the stalled scheme, and AR&V has now purchased the site with the intention to complete the residential conversion by summer 2020.

Lisa Moxon, joint administrator and partner at Dow Schofield Watts, said: “We are delighted to complete the sale of the property for the benefit of the bank involved and for the many parties who had paid deposits to Pinnacle on a number of the proposed flats.”

Robert Diggle, director at Eddisons and agent for Dow Schofield Watts, said: “We’re delighted to complete the sale of this landmark city centre building and enable an empty building to be transformed.

“Significant interest was generated on a local, regional and national basis from a diverse range of end users, whose plans for the building ranged from developing for residential apartments to apart-hotel, hotel and office use.

“Buildings in Liverpool city centre are highly sought after and demand a premium at this present time, and we’re pleased we have achieved an excellent price for the client.”

Director Carl Mills is listed as Pinnacle Residential Liverpool’s sole active director at Companies House. Mills is also a director at Pinnacle Angelgate and Pinnacle Student Developments Liverpool, which have both also entered administration in the last 18 months. Convicted conman Tony Freeman has been linked to the Angelgate development.

Pinnacle Student Development Liverpool, which entered administration earlier this year, owed investors £12m on the 252-bed The Quadrant development at the time of its collapse, while Pinnacle Angelgate, behind a long-stalled two-tower development on Manchester’s Dantzic Street, owed £23.7m to investors when it collapsed in September last year.

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December 2018 and the “convicted conman” (referred to above) who is associated with this and at least 5 other schemes walks free. Flitting between new offices in Manchester and the Costa Del Sol…none of the directors of the Pinnacle firms have been charged despite at least £50M having gone missing. The Panorama programme seems to have been forgotten and these characters carry on regardless. Who said crime doesn’t pay?!

By Julie

Hand over money to a Limited Liability company and you are trusting strangers. As Julie rightly points out, the law protects the swindlers, not you.

By James Yates