Work is set to restart at Plaza 1821, Peel and Regenda’s £21m residential development at Liverpool Waters, with Vermont to take over the project from collapsed contractor Forrest.
Construction ground to a halt on the Hodder + Partners-designed project in November last year after one of the job’s main subcontractors, concrete frame company Heyrod, walked off site following a pay dispute with Forrest.
Forrest subsequently entered administration in December last year after failing to reach a refinancing deal, having been hit with losses on a number of problem jobs. It is understood Forrest was the lowest-priced bidder on Plaza 1821.
Vermont is due to restart the project at the end of this month and will be looking to complete the 15-storey, 105-apartment scheme in 2020.
Neil Baumber, director of development at Peel L&P said: “We are pleased to begin 2019 with a positive update for the Plaza 1821 development.
“Vermont Construction are a Liverpool-based contractor with a wealth of experience in developing high-rise residential apartment buildings, so we look forward to seeing progress onsite to further complement the extensive and exciting redevelopment work being undertaken at Liverpool Waters, Princes Dock.”
The job is the second that Vermont has taken on from Forrest in Liverpool, having replaced the Bolton-based contractor on Elliot Group’s £100m Aura scheme prior to Forrest’s collapse.
Work also stopped at another of Forrest’s jobs in the city, The Eight Building in Liverpool’s Ropewalks. The contractor was picked in April last year to deliver the Tim Groom Architects-designed project, which features 120 apartments.
The Bolton-based contractor entered administration in December, and earlier this month was revealed to owe £28m to its creditors. Heyrod, its concrete frame subcontractor on Plaza 1821, is owed nearly £550,000.
Three problem jobs – SYNQ in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and X1 The Gateway and X1 The Plaza – were the root of the company’s financial woes, and the group struggled to recover after admitting it had made “a series of incorrect pre-construction estimates” on some of its projects.
The company had previously reported a pre-tax profit of £3.6m in 2015 but this was revised heavily downwards to a pre-tax loss of £19.2m. This was followed by a £6.8m loss for the year to 29 February 2016. Following this, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority agreed to step in with a £2m finance package to keep the contractor afloat.
After its administration, the GMCA is likely to lose out on the majority of its £2m loan.