Directors of North Point Global say brand “damaged beyond salvage”

The developer of Liverpool’s £200m New Chinatown scheme is to cease trading and sell all its property interests, saying its brand “has become tainted and damaged beyond salvage”.

North Point Global said it blamed “a series of events that have been neither its responsibility nor within its control”.

Last week, Liverpool City Council (LCC) served Chinatown Development Company (CDC), the business set up by North Point Global to deliver the New Chinatown project, with a forfeiture notice for two leases on the city centre site. Additionally, LCC issued a statutory demand for a sum of £950,000 which it said is owed to the council by CDC.

North Point Global has also been served with a winding-up petition by Gloucester-based hire company Bennetts Cranes, which will be heard in the Royal Courts of Justice on 14 August.

The developer acknowledged it “has had a troubled relationship with Liverpool City Council” but criticised local press for “negatively” reporting about the company.

In a statement, North Point Global said: “The directors consider it would be wholly unrealistic to return to site on any of their projects as the North Point Global brand has become tainted and damaged beyond salvage. Therefore the group will seek to dispose of all of their property interests, return monies to buyer clients and then cease operations. If this process cannot be concluded on a private treaty basis, the group will seek to appoint insolvency practitioners.”

The developer has sold 56 units on the first phase of the New Chinatown scheme to date.

North Point Global said it will issue details of disposal plans for each of its projects over the next 14 days. Besides New Chinatown, its other Liverpool schemes include the Vienna House, Berry House, and Baltic House residential projects and the North Point mixed-use development at Pall Mall. It also built The Element, a residential scheme in Old Trafford, Manchester.

LCC said it had no plans to drop its legal proceedings against the developer. A spokesperson said: “We are aware of North Point Global’s statement but it does not change the council’s position regarding its chosen course of action against CDC.”

The developer had acquired three leases on the New Chinatown site in June 2015, one for each of the intended three phases of the project. In December 2015, LCC approved plans for the first phase, which comprised 790 homes, 120,000 sq ft of commercial space and a 131-bed hotel, and outline planning for the other two phases.

But according to the council, the developer failed to make two staged payments of £475,000 each during 2016, and in the autumn, its contractor PHD1 went into administration, causing work on the site to stall.

Talks between North Point Global and the council, which owns the freehold of the Chinatown site, broke down last month.