Trendy apartment system that ‘never really existed’ as deposit money returned
Deposits worth several hundred thousand pounds that were invested in a failed real estate project in Liverpool city center have now been returned to buyers.
Berry House, an apartment program located in the heart of Liverpool’s trendy Baltic district, was first promoted to potential investors in December 2015.
The project, on Norfolk Street, was to consist of 147 apartments, in a mix of studios and one-bedroom apartments. Investors were offered a return on investment of around 8% per year through the rental yield.
The company was part of the North Point Global group and did not materialize. Now, deposits worth several hundred thousand pounds have been returned to investors.
Baltic House Buyers Limited, a company that represents buyers under the neighboring Baltic House program, has now contacted ECHO.
A spokesperson said: “In addition to Baltic House, we also represent buyers who deposited money into Berry House, which was a sister development.
“Eight Berry House investors have now got their money back, which is good news.
“The total figure is £ 325,222.95.
“But is troubling that this development never really existed, except in glossy brochures and on websites.”
Correspondence from a lawyer confirming that the deposits would be returned to Berry House investors has been shared with ECHO.
The letter reads: “From approximately December 2015, our client acted on behalf of the vendor, Baltic House Developments Limited, in connection with the sale of units in the Berry House development. Another firm of attorneys, 174 Law Solicitors Limited, acted on behalf of the buyers.
“As it happens, construction work for the development of Berry House has not started. Baltic House Developments Limited was put into liquidation in early 2018, and the shutdown date for practical completion of development, December 31, 2018, has passed without development having come into practice. The sales contracts were not and cannot be completed.
“Prior to December 2018, our client received deposits to be held under the terms of the sales contracts. Specifically, the contracts provided that our client was to hold the deposits as a stakeholder to the order of Baltic House Buyers Limited in the manner and under the conditions stipulated in the contract. Our client still keeps some deposits in his client account and must now take steps to process these sums. In these circumstances, our client intends to return these sums to the buyers concerned. “
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Berry House was to be built on the site of the old Liver Grease building at the top of Norfolk Street.
Berry House Developments, the company behind the business, was incorporated in October 2016 and dissolved in December 2018.
Parent company North Point Global entered into a voluntary corporate agreement in September 2017. The company collapsed after numerous issues including negative publicity, disputes with builders and a legal battle with the Liverpool Council.
In January 2019, the Serious Fraud Office opened an investigation into suspected fraud in the North Point Pall Mall and New Chinatown projects. The OFS has since said the investigation is ongoing.
The Baltic House project was then completed by Crossfield Construction. The buyers of the original Baltic House project owe around £ 18million.