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Planned Crown Building Faces Demise

What is perhaps the final nail has been knocked into the proverbial coffin of Crown Building in Manchester.

The Ian Simpson designed 131 metre tall building was being developed by Albany Assets, a troubled property company that now has the problem of its founder, Chris Nesbit, having been declared bankrupt following his inability to pay back a personal loan he had taken out that would provide funds for the scheme.

Meanwhile, Albany claims that Barclays Bank is liable for much of the losses that the project has wound up with due to the inability of the developer to secure a continuation of planning permission in late 2008.

At the time Albany Assets was attempting to have the planning permission for the proposed tower modified to accommodate a hotel as well as residential apartments with the developer claiming to have secured an agreement in principle with the Virgin Group to host one of the company's hotels in the building.

Despite this, Barclays refused to provide any additional funding to Albany so they could have the planning permission modified via a new application, and thus the scheme collapsed although quite how Barclays can be liable for having decided for whatever reason to not loan money remains to be seen.

With no planning application in place for a tall building the price of the site has fallen from a peak of 14.5 million in 2005 to about 2 million today showing just how valuable planning consent for a tower can be.
In the meantime the former Labour Exchange on Aytoun Street remains abandoned and rundown, and is currently a bargain for a property developer who is willing to take the risk and succeed where Albany Assets failed.

Article Related buildings:

Crown Building

Crown Building
Crown Building, Manchester
Crown Building, Manchester