Administrators report interest in Fox Hill scheme

By Bridging Loan Directory -

 

The joint administrators of the stalled Fox Hill scheme in Sheffield said developers who have visited the site with a view to taking it on have reacted “positively” to the project according to BusinessDesk.com.

The development was being built by Artisan H – one of several companies owned by Manchester property entrepreneur Carol Ainscow through her Artisan Property Group.

The report filed by joint administrators Mark Firmin and Howard Smith of KPMG states that although the company had historically developed a number of projects, “any interest in developments other than Fox Hill were sold or transferred prior to their appointment”.

Fox Hill was initially proposed as a £27m scheme which was designed by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and gained planning approval from Sheffield City Council in 2007.

Artisan H was granted a long leasehold on the site, but the recession meant construction didn’t get underway until 2011 after the company had received £2.7m from the Homes & Communities Agency.

Some 179 units were due to be built, but by the time contractor Emerald stopped work in December because the company was no longer able to fund construction just six houses has been completed and 23 more in the process of being built.

Since being appointed, the administrators have “conducted a focused marketing campaign” targeting developers who are likely to be interested in completing the scheme, and said it is working with other stakeholders including the council, the HCA, and the scheme’s lender, Bank of Ireland, to find a way to complete the scheme.

Administrators have said that £1.1m of the HCA’s cash remains on deposit. It is listed as one of two secured creditors of the development alongside Bank of Ireland, which is owed £4.5m.

An initial assessment of the company’s financial position states unsecured creditors – including main contractor Emerald, which is owed £162,000 – are unlikely to receive any money.

Administrators have also said that Land Registry searches they have conducted “appear to show that the company holds long leaseholds over two properties in Manchester”.

“The joint administrators are investigating this position further and are liaising with the incumbent agents with respect to the collection of ground rents,” it states.

“The joint administrators will also consider the possibility of realising value by effecting a sale of the company’s interest in the long leaseholds as appropriate.”