This post first appeared in Place North West.
Blacklight Capital Partners has purchased Natex, a 574-apartment student accommodation scheme off Norton Street, and rebranded it as Limelight.
The deal is understood to have been more than £10m.
Falconer Chester Hall had designed Limelight, then Natex, for Mount Property Group. Under those plans, Limelight would have a 10-storey and 16-storey block. Those two blocks would be filled with 81 studio apartments and 493 cluster units, as well as various amenity areas. The scheme had a GDV of £45m at the time.
Natex topped out in January last year but hit a roadblock when the SPV attached to it, Mount Group Student Natex, went into administration in October. Administrator Mazars reported that the SPV owed £39m to creditors.
Blacklight has taken full ownership of the project, which had been a fractional sales scheme. Under changes made by Blacklight, Limelight’s GDV has increased to £55m. Work has already begun onsite as well. Blacklight aims to open Limelight for the beginning of the September 2023 academic year.
This is not Blacklight’s first foray into purpose-built student accommodation in Liverpool, having worked with investors of Elliot Group’s Aura to deliver the scheme after Elliot Group went into administration. Aura, now known as True Student Liverpool, completed in July.
The acquisition of Limelight is the first purchase under Blacklight’s financing partnership with RoundShield. This partnership is focused on residential rental and PBSA schemes. Accordingly, Blacklight is on the hunt for more centrally located city sites that are suitable for the development of more than 100 apartments.