The sales hype to prospective buyers on Fred Done's Crescent website promises "The opportunity to live without compromise"...
...Having seen the price list for both the Crescent blocks and the Blackfriars blocks there is definitely 'the opportunity to live without compromise'...of bumping into anyone from Salford...
The Blackfriars 'local' development of 380 apartments and townhouses in two huge ugly blocks on the corner of Trinity Way have prices ranging from £199,000 to £265,000 for a one bedroom flat; between £253,000 and £400,000 for a two bed and three bed townhouses up to £475,000.
A car parking space is extra, there's £350 a year ground rent and service charges of £2.60 per square foot per year (flats range between 475sq ft and 726sq ft). The sales company boast that the properties are 52% sold already.
When the Blackfriars block got planning permission, Fred Done's FICM company avoided £1,283,970 in planning fees plus the provision of 76 affordable properties, with the Salford City Council planning officer agreeing with the District Valuer that "the provision of Section 106 and/or affordable housing contributions would render the scheme unviable and therefore cannot be sought in this case."*
Transport for Greater Manchester wanted two new bus stops "to improve the public transport accessibility of the site" but Done wouldn't even provide these as it would make the scheme 'unviable'.
Once planning permission was approved, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) provided cheap loans of £22.5million of public money*, and the properties were subsequently marketed to Hong Kong investors.*
When interviewed about the plans for Blackfriars, FICM director, Simon Ismail, said: "Trinity is the heart of the original Salford, it is where we are all from and we all feel a sense of responsibility to create something very special that we can be proud of. This will be Fred's legacy."
At least Salford Council inserted a 'clawback' agreement in the Blackfriars planning agreement, so there's a chance of getting something back to the city from this development...unlike at the Crescent, where historic pub, the Black Horse, was demolished in order to build 399 properties in the 'conservation area', and Done avoided an estimated £1.9million in planning fees with no clawback in place.
Here, prices range from £170,000 to £300,000 for a one bedroom flat; £250,000 to £350,000 for a two bed; and over £400,000 for a three bed townhouse. Again, a car parking space is extra, ground rent is £350 per year and service charges are set at £2.70 per square foot.
When the Crescent development received planning permission, FICM's rep told the panel "We're Salfordians, we're trying to bring the Crescent back to life...We're lucky that we've got Fred Done who is willing to invest his capital..."
...Unlike most Salfordians themselves who won't be able to afford buying one of these places the last official Salford Council figures available, from 2015, showed that over half of households in the city have an income of less than £25,000 per year.** On the standard house price to income 3.5 ratio, a household would have to pull in around £80,000 a year to buy a Fred Done property, or over £40,000 a year to rent one...
...Meanwhile, this year's Sunday Times Rich List shows that Fred and Peter Done's wealth rose by £20million, to £1.35billion...
* See related Salford Star articles for a full background...
Salford Council To Lose Another £1million Developer Fees at Blackfriar Pub click here
Fred Done gets £22.5million GM Loan click here
Fed Done £22million Publicly Subsidised Flats Marketed to Hong Kong Investors click here
Fred Done Seeks To Demolish Black Horse Pub in Incredible Planning Application click here
Councillors Vote To Demolish Black Horse Pub click here
Fred Done Wins Feed The Rich award click here
Fred Done's Wealth Rises by £20million click here
**Salford Council Figures Show Half of Salford People Can't Even Afford To Buy A Low Cost House click here