Administrators have been called in to liquidate firms involved in a major regeneration project at the Royal Albert Docks.
PwC appointed three joint liquidators for 23 firms within the east London site, after the China-based ABP Group failed to pay creditors over the last two years.
Mayor Sadiq Khan tore up an agreement with ABP, who were brought on board to regenerate the area in 2013 by the then mayor Boris Johnson.
According to PwC, the 35-acre plot underwent major development over the last 10 years, including 56,000 square feet of office and retail space.
However, in August last year ABP was served with a Final Termination Notice over its failures to cough up the cash, before its guarantor Dauphin Holdings Group Limited took on the obligations. The latter also failed to comply with an agreement, and was served with a notice in March of this year.
With only a tiny portion of the developed Royal Albert Dock space occupied, a spokesperson for the Greater London Authority (GLA), said it had “terminated the Development Agreement for the regeneration of Royal Albert Dock” after both APB and Dauphin failed “to meet the obligations in the agreement.”
“This means that the vast majority of the site is now back under the control of the GLA.”
“Royal Albert Dock remains an important site within the Royal Docks, with the opportunity to deliver thousands of new jobs. The GLA remains confident of the site’s future success and will now consider the best way to bring forward its development.”
Real estate restructuring leader and PwC partner, Mark Addley, said the big four firm “will be working with all stakeholders to maximise this opportunity – ensuring that creditors get the maximum return but also to support the place making in this important, evolving London district.”
ABP group joint liquidator and PwC partner, Toby Banfield added that “iitially we will focus on getting a more detailed understanding of this strategically important development site for both Newham and London.”
“Once we have a clearer view of the current financial position through working closely with all major stakeholders, we will then invite interest from investors and developers who can reignite the development potential this scheme offers.”