The issue of derelict flats in the city centre of Manchester has been noted by Manchester Confidential property journalist Jill Burdett, who recommends that they be sold to a housing association.
Property writer Jill Burdett has written an article for lifestyle and entertainment publication Manchester Confidential which comments on the blight of incomplete and derelict flats in the centre of Manchester, while the city and the nation suffer from housing shortage difficulties.
Apartment block Cypress Place has been developed by Australian-based company Lend Lease Group, previously titled Crosby Lend Lease. Situated in the Green Quarter area of Manchester – a modern residential conurbation near to Victoria Station, in the north of the city centre – it has excellent access to many amentities, including a wealth of bars and shops and some top Manchester restaurants.
According to Burdett, the fit-out of Cypress Place was left unfinished as Lend Lease concluded its Manchester property operation, resulting in many of its 215 homes being without bathrooms and kitchens. Another Lend Lease Group development, Castlefield's Potato Wharf, is also incomplete, with the construction of its second waterside block at a standstill.
Burdett said: "Leaving a couple of hundred homes standing empty is a scandalous state of affairs in a city where there is a lack of accommodation, especially affordable accommodation. A quick check shows only 49 properties available under £600 a month [to rent in Manchester city centre] and the lower end is pretty squalid."
Burdett suggests that the developer seeks a housing association to take the properties off its hands, as in the current financial situation, it may be tough to find individual landlords or commercial operations to purchase the units. Attractions in the city, such as Manchester cinemas and museums, are sure to appeal to people of varying ages and circumstances.
However, a representative for Lend Lease Group has stated that there are no current plans for its unfinished Manchester property. The company is presently very busy developing London's Olympic Village project.
"Green Quarter is on the doorstep of NOMA [the new development by The Co-operative Group], which will bring thousands of new workers into the city [...] who would love to live here, but cannot afford £750 a month in rent," concluded Burdett.