A £10m Sheffield student block that has been left half finished for TWO years is now set for completion, developers say.
The Spectrum scheme on Egerton Street, next to Hanover Way, was left open to the elements after a construction company went bust.
Weeds have sprung up inside the seven-storey building, wooden cladding has warped and split and plastic sheeting flaps in the wind. Scaffolding and equipment were removed a few months ago leaving the block empty and slowly rotting.
But now Manchester-based developers Pinnacle Alliance say they are close to striking a deal to send new builders back on site.
A spokeswoman said: “The site has absolutely not been abandoned. We are very close to reaching an agreement with buyers regarding the recommencement of the build, and we are hoping that the development will complete in 2018.”
The flats were advertised at £60,000 each and all had been sold, she added.
New terms were required for a new builder which needed total agreement from buyers.
She said: “The buyers need to have confidence it will happen. There is no additional cost to them and everyone, such as the scaffolders, has been paid.
“It has been a big struggle to get to this point but we are very determined to make this happen.
“For months Pinnacle could not find a construction company who would be willing to take on the build, causing long delays.
“This situation has now rectified itself and the recommencement agreement is nearly final.”
Pinnacle would not comment on reports the Spectrum scheme would have originally cost £10m, with a further £5m required to complete it.
On its website, Pinnacle gives an update on its projects – including the Angelgate scheme for 344 luxury flats in Manchester.
Only groundworks had been carried out before the same firm of builders, PHD1, went under.
After months of delay, buyers had issued a petition to put the development into administration.
Administrator Duncan Swift, of Moore Stephens chartered accountants, said Pinnacle Alliance was a group of companies operating under an ultimate holding company that set up a ‘special purpose vehicle’ company for each of its developments.
The Angelgate SPV had been put into administration after buyers – many of them in Hong Kong – had lost patience after waiting 18 months for construction to restart.
Mr Swift said buyers had paid deposits of between 50 and 80 per cent of the cost of an apartment, totalling £33m, and there had been “inadequate” explanations of where it had gone.
Some £6m had been spent buying the site and £5m on builders PHD1 which should leave £22m. But there was £2m left in the pot.
“It looks as if much of the money was paid in sales commissions to agents and another company in Pinnacle Alliance was the master agent.
“The Angelgate SPV company is now under my control. We will look at whether the scheme can be completed, as well as the company’s past spending.”
Mr Swift added: “Pinnacle Alliance goes back several years, they started in student accommodation and moved into residential, as with Angelgate.
“The group completed some developments.”
On its website, Pinnacle says it will work with the administrator ‘in any way they require to complete the build. We absolutely believe that the Angelgate development can still be delivered for buyers’.
It also states Angelgate has no direct impact on other developments which are ‘progressing well’.