River Crescent – ahead of its time….

There was a sad predictability to the announcement this week that River Crescent, the award winning scheme on the banks of the Trent, had collapsed primarily as they hadn’t sold enough flats.

It is a great scheme, completed just as the market was disintegrating. That they sold just 17 apartments out of 128 was likely to cause some financial issues. It turns out that the Bank are owed £36m – and the prospect of them seeing all of this have all but evaporated. Estimates suggest they might get £20m back. Ouch.

As the market turned the developer let them as best he could and last week there were 99 currently let, 17 were sold, two have been converted into a gym and the remaining ten are either vacant or incomplete.

I had a look around the scheme around three years ago – it was (and is) an impressive place. The quality of the finishes was top quality. There were themed units – Paul Smith, Hugo Boss and others. The views from the apartments was quite spectacular.

But my biggest problem with the apartments was the location. The access was relatively poor through the industrial heartland of Nottingham. Of course, it wasn’t meant to be like this. The development was intended to be part of the major Waterside redevelopment zone. But it got developed ahead of it’s neighbour – which remains vacant today. And so it became a bit of an isolated scheme – which really did need the connection closer to the City.

The location, coupled with the collapse of the property market meant that there were few of us who could see anything but problems with the scheme.

It seems to me that this really was a great idea, just ahead of its time – which is a great pity. Hopefully as Waterside adjacent gets developed (it will) this scheme will eventually come good. In the meantime, the Bank look like they may be licking their wounds…

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