US buyer for Josephine Butler site

US-based NCH Capital has completed its maiden UK investment after buying the Josephine Butler site in Liverpool from Maghull Developments for a reported £4.2m.

It plans to build a 345-bed student scheme with 13,000 sq ft of commercial space, on the corner of Hope Street and Myrtle Street opposite the Philharmonic pub, after plans were approved earlier in the year.

The land is currently used for car parking following the demolition of Josephine Butler House, a former 19th century hospital, in 2009.

Maghull had always planned to demolish the building but was accused of damaging it ahead of an application for listing in 2009. After it was pulled down the scheme stalled due to the financial crisis and a subsequent deal between Maghull and Student Castle is understood to have collapsed during the planning process.

According to a statement from Maghull work will start early next year with the building set to open for the September 2015 university year. The project will be delivered by subsidiary company Nordic Construction. Although NCH has not been active in the UK it has a presence in seven European countries and a portfolio of commercial, residential and retail developments.

Maghull’s chief executive Sean McGurren said: “We are delighted to have brought in a company with NCH’s breadth of international experience to the city. They are a new operator in the student accommodation market but have an impressive portfolio of imaginative and design-led projects in high profile locations including Riga’s World Heritage Site-designated city centre.

“They were hugely impressed and inspired by the Hope Street location and are looking forward to building a scheme that will contribute positively to the local area and support the university’s aspiration to offer the best quality accommodation in the heart of a thriving academic quarter. This is exactly the kind of the inward investment that the city of Liverpool needs to be attracting and we have to ensure that we welcome investors to the city with open arms.”

The development has been designed by Liverpool architects Falconer Chester Hall.