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Credit crunch hits RMJM's Liverpool Princes Dock scheme

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The future of RMJM’s 33-storey Princes Dock scheme in Liverpool is looking increasingly bleak following the withdrawal of the project’s financial backers.

 

Mersey Property Company (MPC), the special-purpose vehicle set up by a group of Worcestershire-based investors to develop the waterfront skyscraper scheme, has called off talks with landowner Peel Holdings to acquire the land.

It is understood negotiations were ended due to the economic downturn, with lower rental values and rising construction and debt costs making the £100 million scheme unviable.

RMJM won planning permission for the mixed-use office, hotel and office scheme designs in June last year.

The practice redesigned its original 37-storey proposals after CABE’s design review said it had ‘serious reservations’ about the scheme, which would have created 11,100m2 of commercial space, a 140-bed hotel and 180 flats.

David Porter, partner at Knight Frank who advised MPC on the sale, said: ‘Sadly, the purchase from Peel has been pulled due to the dramatically altered financial factors in today’s market.’

However RMJM remains optimistic about the future of the development and still believe the scheme could go ahead.

 

The practice’s managing director for Europe, Hugh Mullan said: ‘We are currently in negotiation with a number of local stakeholders about the Princes Dock project in order to achieve a positive outcome for the development.’

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