The Angelgate development was devised to provide luxury apartments in the heart of Manchester city centre.
However, after severe delays, a police investigation, court battle and protests on Hong Kong’s streets, the company behind the development, Pinnacle Angelgate Ltd, has been placed into administration.
What was the project?
The Pinnacle Angelgate project was set to be the next in a long line of Manchester's multi-million-pound residential developments. Sitting near the city's Norma district, it was to become part of the ‘Northern Gateway’.
Plans for the 344 luxury apartments were first put forward in 2015. The £30 million project attracted investors from around the world – including Hong Kong – and was set to be a huge success.
It's no surprise that some investors paid as much as £350,000 to be part of it. However, things did not go according to plan.
Why did Pinnacle Angelgate go into administration?
There were several factors that contributed to Pinnacle Angelgate’s move into administration.
The key problem was the severe delays that occurred throughout. The project is now almost two years late for completion, and the work has not even started.
Buyers were informed that this was due to a conflict between the developer and Liverpool-based construction firm, PHD1, over the agreed build cost.
However, this was only the tip of the iceberg. After paying deposits of up to 80%, buyers claimed they were asked to invest even more cash to ensure the development’s completion.
This caused them to grow suspicious, so earlier this year, several buyers decided to take the case to the authorities.
A total of 73 buyers reported the firm to the UK’s Action Fraud agency, who passed the case on to Greater Manchester Police, who in turn gave it to Titan; the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit. The developers are now under investigation for investment fraud.
This has caused outrage, there was even a protest on the streets of Hong Kong to demonstrate the buyers' discontent.
This was not the only action the buyers took. In Hong Kong, 33 buyers lost patience with the process and petitioned to place the SPV, Pinnacle Angelgate, into administration.
Duncan Swift and Neil Dingley, from the accountancy and advisory firm Moore Stephens, were appointed as administrators.
How did Pinnacle Angelgate respond?
The company issued a statement explaining that a single buyer had issued a petition to put the development into administration. This petition was then supported by a number of other buyers, and the Royal Courts of Justice ruled in favour of this petition.
The developers were said to be extremely disappointed by this ruling, as they have taken several steps to ensure completion of the project.
The Pinnacle Angelgate spokesman stated:
“We have worked determinedly to get the Angelgate development over the line. Unfortunately, PHD1 Ltd (the original commissioned construction company) went into liquidation in 2015. They had significantly under-valued the build and for a year we struggled to find another construction company willing to build the development at the same quoted price.
“However, in the last six months we have turned this situation around and found a trusted construction company to complete the build, within budget, which meant that buyers would not have had to contribute any additional funds.
“This result is therefore extremely difficult for us, however we respect the wishes of this group of buyers.
What happens next?
The administrators have now taken over the land, and are seeking a way to complete the project.
They will work closely with investors and any developers who have an interest in seeing the development completed.
The spokesperson for Angelgate Ltd has promised to work to help the Administrator, as they “wholeheartedly believe” the Angelgate development can still be delivered for buyers.