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Issa Quay Rides into the Danger Zone

What could be the final nail in the BS Development Ltd business coffin looks like being about to be firmly hammered in.

Issa Quay is an 83 apartment, 12-storey block standing on Manchester's Dale Street on that's been developed by BS Construction, better known as BSC, one of an umbrella of companies.

Thanks to the cash flow problems of the firms, plus a raft of uncompleted projects and unsold apartments, bankruptcy proceedings for almost a dozen of his companies has now begun.

The main asset was hoped to be Issa Quay which was considered almost finished and in what looked like a white knight investor move, Stay City agreed to fully rent the building out allowing it to sublet the apartments on the Manchester residential market.

Unfortunately for BSC, there were no health and safety documents certifying the completion of the building and rumours soon abounded it was in fact, unsafe. These now look to have solidified with building control having been deployed by the local council and demolition contractors on site looking at the safety of the building.

Already cladding is supposed to have fallen from what would otherwise be an occupied building, and on Friday the situation was considered serious enough for Manchester City Council to finally close the area of Dale Street that bounds Issa Quay as the building is "potentially dangerous" to passers-by requiring closer inspection.

It's understood the primary area of concern is the external fittings of the building which will now need to be checked to see if they are safe to remain on it and can handle the substantial wind loads that can hit them and are properly sealed to resist water.

If not, Issa Quay will have to be stripped, a move which will ruin any potential sale once winter sets in as water leaking into the building will expand and contract as it freezes and defrosts causing grave damage.

If the scheme is found to be dangerous, it raises the question of just how someone managed to build a 12 storey building in the middle of a major British city that is unsafe and why there was such poor oversight from the authorities in allowing the project to progress, almost to the point of people moving in before concerns were finally raised.

The developer was hoping that it could somehow secure more capital and that if the worst came to the worst, its main asset could be sold to fix a financial hole. With it unsafe for habitation this looks unlikely.

Combined with the Sarah Tower being a few floors of rusting structural steel poking above ground, the half built Sarah Point left rotting and exposed to the elements, and the Canopus site having collapsed into the adjacent river, never has a developer had a more truthful name than BS Construction.

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Issa Quay with visible damage
Issa Quay with visible damage