Developer High Street Group went down owing £212m

Aaron Morby 2 years ago

Newcastle-based private rental flat developer The High Street Group collapsed into administration owing an estimated £211m.

Hadrian Tower project was a success but Covid stopped other projects in their tracks prompting investors to ask for their money back
Hadrian Tower project was a success but Covid stopped other projects in their tracks prompting investors to ask for their money back

A report from administrators for the group, which built Newcastle’s Hadrian Tower, revealed the huge estimated liabilities warning creditors it had still not received a full director’s report.

Tolent, which built the Hadrian Tower, is listed as one of the unsecured creditors, claiming £1.7m.

Joint administrators SKSi and Insolve Plus said the developer’s liabilities stood at £212m, including £124m owed to high net wealth investors helping to fund private rental scheme, and £87.7m to unsecured creditors.

The report put The High Street Group’s assets at £136m, but administrators said they were uncertain about how much of this sum can be realised at this stage because £135m of this amount is in “inter-company receivables”.

The administrators are also investigating an arrangement between High Street Group and Hadrian Real Estate, which acquired some of its projects in the North East.

Hadrian was originally part of High Street Group but is now under separate ownership with an agreement to use proceeds to pay back some of High Street Group’s investors.

The report said that High Street Group got into PRS about six years ago after directors saw an opportunity for investment funds to move into this sector in the UK.

The developer built a land bank for projects targeting Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle, eventually extending to 13 schemes with a development value of £1.3bn.

The firm’s investment strategy involved targeting rich investors offering a high-interest seven-year loan note.

After successfully delivering the Hadrian Tower in Newcastle and Middlewood Plaza in Manchester around £12m of surplus cash would have been generated.

But as Covid hit in March 2020, investors postponed all new projects, including Brett Wharf in Gateshead and Strawberry Place in Newcastle.

The firm then saw a run on redemption requests from investors, forcing the company to stop early redemptions and cease paying interest payments.

During this period, Hadrian Real Estate was launched and an agreement was reached between High Street Group and Hadrian Real Estate to transfer some projects to the new development firm to pay down loans.

But a series of winding-up petitions followed leading to the appointment of administrators on 16 December.


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