An agreement that would see a consortium of investors acquire the stalled £70m Salford tower scheme out of administration is close to being agreed, according to its developer Elliot Group.
The Residence fell into administration last year and and Elliot has now agreed to transfer the freehold of the site to investors subject to court approval.
The developer’s founder Elliot Lawless has also agreed to transfer his freehold interest in an adjacent site to secure the consortium’s position and enable it to complete the scheme’s delivery.
The 300-unit development comprises two blocks of 14 and 34 storeys respectively. The concrete frame for the 34-storey tower had completed before the project was placed into administration last March in the wake of Lawless’ arrest by Merseyside Police in December 2019 as part of an ongoing corruption probe. Lawless was subsequently released without charge.
The High Court has since ruled that a search of Lawless’ home by Merseyside Police at the time of the arrest was unlawful and no charges have ever been brought.
“My motivation throughout the administration process [overseen by David Rubin and Partners] was to protect my investors,” Lawless said in a statement on Tuesday.
“They helped me build my business and I was duty-bound to look out for them. I’ve worked tirelessly for twelve months on this [transfer deal] and my thanks go to the administrators and to the investors for staying the course.”
Speaking to Place North West, administrators for The Residence were keen to stress that, while a deal for The Residence is close, nothing has yet been finalised. Paul Cooper and David Rubin of David Rubin and Partners said: “Administrations of this type require a collective will to get them over the line and credit is due to all parties.
“It’s a very attractive and well-located scheme and we are looking forward to seeing it built out and occupied.”
Like the Residence, Aura was placed into administration last year but has since been acquired by a group of investors and work on site is nearing completion.
Transfer negotiations are also underway for the 38-storey Infinity scheme in Liverpool, the third project Elliot placed into administration last year, but a deal has yet to be reached, according to Lawless.