For sale: Crown House dream over

Robert Lane at Crown House,West Bar,Sheffield.
Robert Lane at Crown House,West Bar,Sheffield.
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In the end it proved to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, built for the wrong use and even in the wrong postcode - but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The future of Crown House - an £8m office block that has never been occupied - is easier to predict.

The seven-storey building opposite the Crown Court at West Bar is up for sale for just £2m after the Manzoor family who own it - and paid the mortgage for four years despite having no rental income - finally defaulted.

The Clydesdale Bank has appointed Begbies Traynor to find a buyer to repay as much of the bank debt as possible.

A spokesperson for Begbies said: “Payments were not being made against the monies the bank lent to buy and develop the building.”

It marks the end of a nightmare for the family, whose property company Sheer Challenge was behind the project.

Building started in 2008 and was completed in February 2010 at the height of the global financial crash.

Instead of bringing in £950,000-a-year in rent, it has never earned a penny.

The family held out for a single occupier but, despite dozens of viewings led agent Robert Lane and others, no one signed up.

A property specialist, who asked not to be named, said: “It’ll probably be bought by a developer and turned into flats of some sort.

“The business district has moved away from this area and Crown House was hampered by having an S3 postcode, most blue chip companies only search S1, for the prestige.

“In the end several negatives counted against it.”

The building has never been finished to avoid empty buildings rates.

An electrical fault has led to several large windows being open for months.

In 2010 Zulfi Manzoor, said: “No one knew the crisis was going to be so bad and by then it was too late.

“A year earlier, maybe we could have found a tenant. A year later and we might have shelved the plans. As it is, it is the worst commercial decision we have ever made.”

The deadline for offers is October 20.