Old Trafford eyesores snapped up by London developer
Magenta Property has acquired Trafford Press and Empress Mill off Chester Road, the site of a 200-home residential scheme that stalled in 2016.
Headed up by Rohit and Parminder Lakhanpaul, Magenta bought the Old Trafford buildings for £1.5m, according to Land Registry.
Place North West reached out to London-based Magenta for comment.
The redevelopments of Trafford Press and Empress Mill, located on a two-acre site in Old Trafford, were partially completed before Absolute Living Developments entered liquidation in 2016.
Liquidator Azets had twice been close to selling the plot but two deals fell through due to the complexity of the site’s title, according to reports filed with Companies House.
One prospective buyer had agreed to pay £3.1m but the deal failed to get over the line. Azets then agreed a price of £3.6m with another purchaser but that deal did not complete.
Azets last report on the scheme detailed “multiple difficulties” in relation to selling the site due to the number of leaseholders attached to the stalled development.
As of last September, Azets had obtained the surrender of 70 of 124 leases across both Empress Mill and Trafford Press.
In addition, of the 78 investors that held unilateral notices, 30 had been withdrawn.
The Empress Mill and Trafford Press scheme was originally part of the Fresh Start Living portfolio.
Fresh Start was wound up in December 2013. Its former chief executive Charlie Cunningham later became a director of DB7, which has a £24m claim against Absolute Living Developments having funded the acquisition of the site.
Creditor claims against Absolute Living Developments since its collapse total £68m, according to Companies House filings.
The sale of the Empress Mill and Trafford Press site could be viewed as a positive step forward for the area, identified by Trafford Council as a “drag on investment” due to the number of stalled and eyesore sites.
Earlier this year, the authority said it was “exploring options around enforcing a clean-up of the area, which it said is “blighted by empty properties and unfinished developments”.
While there are issues around this particular corner of OldTrafford, several large-scale regeneration projects can be found a short distance away. These include Bruntwood and Glenbrook’s Lumina Village and the redevelopment of the former Greater Manchester Police headquarters, which will be delivered by FEC.