Priestley completes Lancaster student scheme
The Leeds-based property group has delivered an 89-apartment project, having bought the part-built development out of receivership early in 2021.
The Cable Street development includes a 19,217 sq ft new-build and the conversion of a grade two-listed building, and has been completed by the firm’s building arm Priestley Construction.
Sister company Priestley Homes paid £6.5m to take the site on in early 2021, picking up the asset in a sale process led by professional services firm Duff & Phelps.
Originally, the project was being taken forward by Lancaster Student, and was reported as 80% complete at the point D&P called time, acting to recover a charge on behalf of creditor Lancashire Mortgage Corporation.
However, said Priestley, several issues emerged once it took over on site, leading to a complete reworking of the programme.
The firm said that lift installations and wiring throughout the build failed to meet current specifications, while flooring was deemed inadequate. This led to Priestley replacing all wiring, stripping out floors, and adding 30 tonnes of steel to the listed building.
In addition, works were uncovered that were not undertaken by the previous developer and were not in accordance with the planning consent given, leading to further additional works and dialogue with planning and conservation officers.
The final project was completed for the client Priestley Homes with Together as the funding partner, and the apartments being made available via Homes for Students, an operator with locations in around 50 university towns and cities.
Nathan Priestley, chief executive of the Priestley Group, said: “The delivery of Cable Street was a success despite the setbacks that we encountered.
“It is a testament to the team at Priestley Construction. Their expertise and technical proficiency have allowed us to deliver top-notch student accommodation to our usual industry-renowned high standards.
“We have transformed the grade two-listed building into a striking, modern communal area for the students to enjoy.”