Marketed with great fanfare by top UK politicians, a string of buyer-funded developments in Liverpool and Manchester were snapped up. Then the dominoes began to fall
They were billed as the jewels in the crown of the Northern Powerhouse: a multimillion-pound series of property developments that would have brought thousands of new homes and hundreds of jobs to Liverpool and Manchester, complete with helipads, Chinese bazaars and a Banksy street art gallery. But now the plans have collapsed amid accusations of fraud – all strongly denied – leaving the cities scarred with abandoned building sites and a trail of angry investors from around the world demanding to know where their money has gone.
On Norfolk Street, in Liverpool’s trendy Baltic Quarter, stands the six-storey concrete carcass of what was supposed to be Baltic House, launched in 2015 as a “groundbreaking” development of student flats and creative live-work units. It was the first phase of the Gallery+ project, an “elegant, cool, urban and edgy” mixed-use scheme, centred around a gallery of Banksy murals that had been ripped from nearby walls. It was one of many such glamorous projects devised by property company North Point Global, marketed with great fanfare in China and Hong Kong and sold off-plan to investors with the lucrative promise of high yields, before mysteriously grinding to a halt. Three years on, the company has pulled out of its planned £360m suite of projects across the city and stopped picking up the phone, leaving buyers to believe they are the victims of a ruthless scam, fiercely denied by the developers in question.
Source: the guardian
Edgy urban apartments, lavish promos – and a trail of angry investors