West Properties (Princess Street), the vehicle behind the Origin
development in Manchester, has apparently been threatened with being struck off the Companies House register
after failing to submit its accounts on time in January.
The Manchester Evening News reports that the firm could have had its assets seized if Companies House had carried through the threat but West MD Donal Mulryan has blamed the mess-up on an "administrative error". He says the accounts will be filed this week.
Anyone walking down Princess Street recently will have noticed that work has ground to a halt at Origin. While a couple of tower cranes remain, there were absolutely no signs of life when I peered into the construction site the week before last.
I'm told that delays are down to a series of factors. The initial hold-up was due to the extension of the hotel element by three storeys, which was finally given the all-clear only in December. Meetings are about to take place with hotel operator Starwood in New York over the appointment of an interior designer, which should be finalised by the end of June. Meanwhile, West is going to appoint a new sub-contractor to take the project forward.
While the scheme has been delayed, West believes an early-2011 opening for the hotel will be ideal timing and work is likely to re-commence in July to that end. Starwood will operate the hotel under its W Hotels banner and since pop star Shakira recently opened the new one in Qatar, the opening in Manchester is likely to be a very high profile affair.
With developers under pressure all over the place, any delay to a major scheme like this tends to make everybody a bit nervous. Thanks to the Starwood prelet, it sounds as though West is in a decent position to get on and deliver the scheme.
EGi subscriber links (login required):
W Hotels checks into London and Manchester (3 September 2008)
West Properties returns to Origins (26 May 2007)