Developer strikes deal to save stalled £100m Aura scheme

Grant Prior 1 year ago
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Developer Elliot Group boss Elliot Lawless has struck a deal to complete the £100m Aura scheme in Liverpool after it was placed into administration in March.

The site just before work stopped earlier this year
The site just before work stopped earlier this year

The deal will see a consortium of the scheme’s original investors build out the student homes part of the site containing 1,000 apartments.

Lawless will continue with the hotel element of the scheme.

Main contractor Vermont stopped working on the Aura site in January and is understood to be in pole position to now complete works.

Aura and Elliot Group’s Infinity project in Liverpool and The Residence in Salford were all placed into administration in March.

The move followed funding problems caused by the fall-out from the arrest late last year of Lawless as part of a fraud investigation.

He has never been charged and has strongly denied all allegations.

Lawless said he will be looking to strike similar deals to get the other two stalled schemes completed.

He said: “My motivation throughout the administration process was to protect my investors and so I’m pleased with the outcome.

“These are people whose backing enabled me to deliver more than two and a half thousand new homes in Liverpool and I wasn’t about to leave them high and dry.

“What I’ve done is hand over the profit element to the consortium so that, not only is their core investment protected, but they can share the surplus that a successful completed project will deliver.”

Anna Doeff, whose company Mewstone Ridges Ltd is Elliot Group’s single largest investor in Aura and a member of the investor consortium, said: “This is the best possible deal we could arrive at.  Credit is due to Elliot Lawless for working so hard to find a solution that protected our interests.

“We’ve seen other developers just walk away in such circumstances but he stood by his word and delivered.

“The administrators have pulled out all the stops, too, and we’re now just looking forward to getting the builders back on site and delivering a scheme of which we can all be proud.”

Administrators Paul Cooper and David Rubin of David Rubin and Partners who handled the disposal said: “This was a complicated procedure which could not have been resolved without the collective buy in and efforts of the Elliot Group and the investor consortium.

“Our team has worked hard to get to this positive outcome and we wish the new investment consortium well as they move to finalise this highly attractive scheme.”

 

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