Development FinanceNews

Development project features unexpected twist

A brownfield site development project in Manchester (pictured) saw an unexpected twist after the developer found a live WWII bomb being used as a doorstop.

The deal, sourced through Crystal Specialist Finance and funded by Manchester-based lender Affirmative, required the removal of a number of delapidated buildings prior to constriction which is when the 300mm long by 150mm diameter bomb was found.

Crystal became involved with the development in June 2017 after the applicant was let down by another lender.

Due to initial limited funds a deal was negotiated with the landowner to defer part of the payment until completion.

After the client provided additional security, Affirmative agreed to offer the balance of funds on day one (£240,000) and 100% of the build costs to be funded in arrears (£60,000).

During the legal process the seller reneged on the deal which placed it on hold, however in November 2018 an equity partner agreed to make up the shortfall.

Affirmative agreed to honour the original offer and use the existing valuation, with the funds finally released in April 2019.

Michael Fisher, head of development finance at Crystal Specialist Finance, said: “This application encountered a minefield of issues, but by working together and continuing open dialogue we were able to assist the client through every setback to ensure he could complete the deal.”

Ian Harrison, head of sales at Affirmative, added: “It’s not the type of loan you see every day, but we love it when quirky cases like this come across our desks.

“It was a pleasure working with Crystal to get the customer the deal they needed, and we look forward to working with them in the future to help other customers with a flexible lending solution.”

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