Disposal deal completed on stalled student accommodation site

Great Moor Street site

Work on a student accommodation block in Bolton that stalled six years ago after the developer’s collapse is set to recommence.

It follows a deal to sell the site, on Great Moor Street, by Watling Real Estate, which supported liquidators at BDO and Moore Kingston Smith in successfully concluding the sale, for an undisclosed sum.

Chris Walker and Andrew Foster, of Watling Real Estate, were appointed as Fixed Charge Receivers over the prominent seven-storey 140-bed, part-completed student accommodation block which initially began construction in 2016.

But the development, on derelict land close to The Balmoral pub, ground to a halt in 2018 after funder, Collateral, collapsed.

The scheme was meant to include 119 ‘pods’ and 21 studio flats, as well as a gymnasium, reception area, communal kitchens, laundry rooms and landscaped gardens.

Chris Walker said: “The development originally stalled in the summer of 2018 following the lender going into administration and the developer going into liquidation. The block suffered significant damage before receivers were appointed and has remained mothballed ever since.”

Watling generated much interest in the property, but receivers were not able to complete a sale owing to a catalogue of legal complexities.

Following a collaborative court process involving liquidators at Moore Kingston Smith and the receivers, the development has now finally been sold to Blackburn-based EP Properties.

Mr Walker said: “This was a complex sale involving a disparate group of investors to an insolvent peer-to-peer lending platform which brought its own unique challenges, but with support from the restructuring team at solicitors Stevens & Bolton, a successful court application enabled a sale to be successfully completed.

“The buyer’s intentions are yet to be confirmed but may involve a build-out of the original proposals or a variation of them.”

He added: “This is an exciting opportunity for EP Properties, and we wish the team well in bringing this prominent site back into use and contributing to the success and regeneration of Bolton town centre.

“This has been a very good outcome considering the complexities.”

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