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BAND
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Time for an update. Given we've decided to split up the threads in Bradford into projects, and with Rob's kind renaming of this thread, I will post this here. As the last post put up here was more than a year and half ago, the thread could do with some decent photo's of it's completion. So here's a load:



























Back in July it achieved a Hatrick of Building Design Awards:

Telegraph & Argus said:
Gatehaus voted building of year

10:30am Friday 18th July 2008

comment Comments (7) Have your say »
By Jo Winrow »


Flagship Bradford regeneration project The Gatehaus has been voted building of the year at the Bradford District Design Awards.

The Gatehaus has now completed a hat-trick of award wins. The development, desig-ned by Shipley-based Robinson Design Group, has also won the Best City Centre Develop-ment honour at the Resi Props Awards 2008 and the Design Excellence Award at the Insider Property Awards 2008.

Following the Bradford District Design Awards, Tony Mobbs, Robinson Design Group Managing Director said: “Bradford is continually raising its standards in building design.

“On a personal level I am proud of our achievements through developments like The Gatehaus and excited about our future involvement in the regeneration of the city.”

Maud Marshall, chief executive at Bradford Centre Regeneration, said: “We are committed to delivering the highest standard of design throughout the regeneration programme to safeguard Bradford’s historic architecture. We are delighted that The Gatehaus has won ‘Building of the Year’.”
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/3215064.Gatehaus_voted_building_of_year/


Unfortunately things weren't too rosy for the developer Asquith, and they folded last month:

Telegraph & Argus said:
Tower firm hit by cash crisis

9:19am Friday 12th September 2008

The developer behind some of Bradford’s biggest regeneration schemes has gone into administration, blaming the “worst market conditions in living memory”.

Asquith Properties is best known for its award-winning Gatehaus residential complex in Leeds Road, flanking Little Germany, but had also received planning permission to create Bradford’s tallest building – the 38-storey Citygate glass tower in Manchester Road.

Russell Baker, managing director of Asquith, said: “The current market conditions have meant that the whole situation has become untenable.

“We have bought the sites and invested heavily but we are left with several plots of land and no chance of starting building on them.

“The economic climate is the worst in living memory. Black Wednesday in 1992 was just a blip compared to this.”

The downturn in the construction industry nationally was highlighted by Office for National Statistics yesterday when it revealed that orders in the three months to July 2008 fell by 22 per cent compared with the previous three month period, with decreases in all sectors except public housing.

Orders in the 12 months to July 2008 fell six per cent compared with the previous 12 months and orders in three months to July 2008 fell by 23 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.

Mr Baker said Asquith had invested millions of pounds working up its proposals for the Citygate development after winning a developer competition, run by Bradford Trident and Bradford Council in 2006, to build on the site of the Reyner House flats and shops.

Mr Baker said: “We have invested heavily in Citygate but, because of all the things going on there, we have not been able to complete the purchase of the land. The land could not be delivered as we were originally led to believe.”

He said the company had also spent a lot of money carrying out remedial works at the former Foxhill Works scrapyard, in Queensbury, to make way for an £11 million development comprising 47 new homes.

He said: “It’s demoralising and upsetting. We have put our hearts and souls into developing Asquith into a premium company, putting ourselves at the top end of the market, but we are left between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to go.

“Land values have been devastated, it’s impossible to get a mortgage, house prices are down and the banks are not lending for speculative development. If you put all that together, where can we go with all this?”

Mr Baker revealed that he and his business partner Katherine Stacey had invested millions of pounds of their own money trying to keep the company going He added: “We have worked tirelessly for the last eight months trying to avert this. We have always believed in Bradford and we still believe in Bradford. We have invested £40 or £50 million since we started and we were pioneers of city centre living in Bradford, building iconic buildings and trying something different.”

A spokesman for Price Waterhouse Coopers, the administrators, said: “The company has encountered cash flow problems as a consequence of problems with the UK property market and difficulties in raising development finance caused by the credit crunch environment.

“The company’s remaining property and land assets in Bradford and Queensbury will be marketed to recover value for creditors.”

Councillor Adrian Naylor, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “Bradford has not suffered the extremes of oversupply that other cities have.

“While individual companies have different positions in the current economic cycle, the opportunities that Bradford presents are still very real in that developers are keen to get involved.”

A source close to Bradford Council revealed that the Council and Bradford Trident would be holding urgent talks to move the Manchester Road scheme forward.
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/3668161.print/


This has now resulted in this situation with The Gatehaus, rooms half finished, problems and faults with the building and empty flats, none of it helped too much by the economic situation:

Telegraph & Argus said:
Investors angry over Gatehaus troubles

8:56pm Friday 12th September 2008

comment Comments (7) Have your say »
By Tanya O'Rourke »






Investors in Bradford’s landmark Gatehaus complex say they have been left high and dry after development company Asquith Properties went into administration.

Asim Malik, owner of Advanced Lettings which manages some of the flats in the award-winning building, said he had advised friends and family to invest in the development.

But he now feels he has let them down after the company returned keys to what he claims are uninhabitable apartments.

Buyers of flats at the Leeds Road development were promised a two-year rental agreement whereby Asquith would find tenants for the apartments and pay an agreed sum as a monthly rent.

The flats would be handed over to the buyers at the end of this period.

But with a year of the contract still to go for many investors, the firm, which has gone into administration, has handed back keys to some flats which Mr Malik said “look like they were never even finished in the first place”.

Several of the apartments are damaged and the entrance to the car park is flooded by what Asquith described in a letter to buyers as “previous tenants’ neglect and product failures on pipe fittings”.

Mr Malik said: “Who is going to want to live here?

“I encouraged many of my friends and family to buy there because I thought it was a good investment.

“I manage 15 of these properties and about 25 of my family and friends have invested but they are in such a state that I’d say about three of those flats are occupied.

“Asquith stopped honouring the rental agreement months ago and now there is nothing the buyers can do.

“A lot of people have put their lifetime’s savings into this place.

“People weren’t even told how bad the apartments were or what the situation was, it’s a nightmare.

“I’ve got no sympathy for Asquith. I wish I’d never got involved with it.”

Another investor Sal Nair, of South-ampton, said: “To say I feel let down is a massive understatement.

“We’re already out of pocket because they only paid one year of our two-year rental agreement. And they’ve sent out a blanket letter so I don’t even know whether my apartment has been affected by the flooding.

“I am very angry about it.”

Bradford businessman Shamsher Malik also owns one of the flats.

He said: “It’s just a shambles. I feel like I’ve been robbed, they haven’t paid my rent for four months and I have a family to support.”

Steve Ellis and Ian Green, of Price-waterhouseCoopers LLP, have been appointed joint administrators of Asquith Properties Limited.

They were unavailable to comment on the investors’ specific concerns yesterday.

But in a statement issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers about the administration of Asquith, Mr Ellis said: “Despite financial support from its bankers and the shareholders, the company has encountered severe cash flow problems as a consequence of escalating development costs on the Gatehaus development project and an inability to realise value from its land and property assets due to the troubled UK property and development finance markets.

“Curtailment of these developments has generated significant losses as the projects cannot now be funded.

“The company’s remaining property and land assets in Bradford and Queensbury will be marketed to recover value for creditors and we would invite any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/3670543.Investors_angry_over_Gatehaus_troubles/


Seems like this has turned into a bit of shambles. Here's some more photos, this time of the site in general, some photos showing examples of cutting corners, or other issues:

This was one thing I never really got or liked about the design, these metal top parts. Are they supposed to look good?:




The retail section at the bottom still isn't let:










Round the back & Sides:





These white pannels underneath aren't the best of features:






The Courtyard:

some white staining:















The Windows don't seem so neat and tidy close up:





Cable or Wire left hanging out:



Still the glass fin on the whole looks very sleek:






I like the design of this building overall, but it seems let down by a lack of attention to detail in places and incompletion. The situation with Asquith has also made this development take a turn for the worst, and is probably the reason for some of this corner cutting, as well as the blatant unfinished nature of some of the flats as detailed in the article. Perhaps a developer can be found to finish off this work and turn this place around, but given the economic situation as it stands, I would say this is unlikely.
 

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ßANNED
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Flippin' Bradford threads everywhere making the place look untidy!
 

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BAND
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thats still well nice for a residential development. there are very few in leeds that look this slick

It is pretty slick and I do like it on the skyline, an original style for Bradford. But I can't help feeling let down in a few places. Some of the windows on the sandstone part of the fin look a little simple or cheap, the renders promised a bit more detailing here, and it lessens the effect on the whole. The long strips of windows were meant to be broken down more by little strips of sandstone cladding, though some of the detail being lost might be more a result of how dark the glass actually is, which is of course formidable in it's own right. More apparent though are the little clumps of darker stone all put in the same place as shown on a few pictures. I don't get why architects or builders would logically do that? Why? They should be set out evenly. Again the metal top parts don't make much sense to me. It looks unfinished as a material and doesn't look that good, viewing the building from certain perspectives. Surely some quality black matt cladding would have made better sense? - same goes for that white upside down cladding underneath the various overhangs.

I could be nitpicking, and I like The Gatehaus don't get me wrong, but it seemed this scheme was going all out for original and quality design, while the finished result does leave something to be desired.

More pressing though really is the situation with Asquith and how it's left this building and any of its tenants in the lurch. Its usage as a building has fallen from underneath it, and is only partially let, though I expect with the situation as it stands, for its occupancy to go down, unless they can get a new developer or owner to sort this mess. I think this shows that you can't expect Bradford to escape from the economic downturn and flats market crash just because it doesn't have as many apartments already built as Leeds or Manchester etc.

Still mostly good architecture though, that's one thing we have from it.


Suburban Knight said:
Flippin' Bradford threads everywhere making the place look untidy!
And there will be more. Got anything constructive to add?
 

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What I don't understand is that the bulk of the building costs have been expended now, so it would seem logical that a small extra push to finish the outstanding apartments would bring in a disproportionate amount of outstanding revenue. I would expect the administrators for Asquith Properties to look at doing this to get the best return for the creditors.
 

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BAND
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What I don't understand is that the bulk of the building costs have been expended now, so it would seem logical that a small extra push to finish the outstanding apartments would bring in a disproportionate amount of outstanding revenue. I would expect the administrators for Asquith Properties to look at doing this to get the best return for the creditors.
I'm not so well versed in economics or the construction industry, what is the administrator's role and who might they be? Are they separate from the development company themselves? Asquith is in administration and can't do anything about it. Wouldn't they legally require a new developer to finance and work on the completion of the building's interior & other problems, or can they just go ahead and just do it anyway?
 

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It's as with other large companies that go bankrupt, including what happened to Leeds Utd. In this case, Pricewaterhouse Coopers have been made administrators for Asquith Properties. They are tasked with getting the best price possible for the creditors, ie the people owed money by Asquith. They will probably split the business and sell it to other companies for as high a price as possible, and the new company will probably finish the develompment and get the rest of revenue in.
 

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BAND
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It's as with other large companies that go bankrupt, including what happened to Leeds Utd. In this case, Pricewaterhouse Coopers have been made administrators for Asquith Properties. They are tasked with getting the best price possible for the creditors, ie the people owed money by Asquith. They will probably split the business and sell it to other companies for as high a price as possible, and the new company will probably finish the develompment and get the rest of revenue in.

Ah I see, thanks for explaining that. Though will anyone really be willing to buy up at a time like this, or does this tend to happen no matter the economic climate? And if they do buy up, might they sit on it until conditions are right again in the flats market? Or might it still be alright in Bradford where there is less of an oversupply? This project could definately do with a company that can stay stable when times are bad, hopefully the reduced cost to finish it off shouldn't burden them too much.
 

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BAND
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Seems the Gatehaus is still feeling symptoms of its part completion and the bankrupt Asquith Properties, and whoever still lives there has to put up with it:

Five trapped in Bradford Gatehaus lift breakdown

9:35am Thursday 26th March 2009


Five people had to be rescued by firefighters when the lift at a landmark apartment complex broke down.

The incident happened at the Gatehaus, in Leeds Road, Bradford, just before midnight on Wednesday.

Firemen from Bradford, who attended the incident, said they had to turn the power off and open the doors from above to free the lift’s "agitated" occupants.
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/4235920.Five_rescued_in_lift_drama/


I know lift brakedowns will happen in general, though this is a brand new building and it's a shame the only news we hear about this quite attractive building is negative.

Some recent photos:



What is it with this light up palm tree? Makes the whole place look right tatty, though I guess the unused retail unit does a good job at that as it is.





View from the Leeds Road entrance to the city centre.


Also noticed there's lots of angles captured of this building on Google Street View:



The most impressive, just look at those reflections.




This patch of fenced off wasteland doesn't exactly help it out. Believe this was to be the site of the second stage of the Gatehaus development, probably no more after Asquith went under. Wouldn't this be better temporarily grassed over? Perhaps permanently with a square and benches, Little Germany could do with some public realm space.


The building does take some fascinating angles:









Seems to change almost as you go around.





Seems to blend with the streetscape quite well.


Also the not so often seen back:

 

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An apartment in the GateHaus development was used as a heroin factory (with drugs totalling £7.5 million). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/8150854.stm

City flat used as heroin factory

By Chris Buckler
BBC News North of England correspondent


Neighbours in the apartment block were shocked by the discovery
Behind the front door of a city centre apartment in Bradford detectives found a heroin factory.

Drugs with a street value of about £7.5m had been prepared in the apparently ordinary flat, to be sold in towns and cities across the UK.

That process involved diluting the high-purity heroin with cheap chemicals like caffeine, to increase the profits made by the two criminal gangs who illegally imported it.

Officers found the rooms covered in powder, but neighbours at the Gatehaus apartment block were completely unaware of the multi-million pound drugs operation that was hidden just doors away.

"I'm really shocked," said one resident.

"When I bought this apartment they told me the best of the best people would be living here... not drug dealers."

We have made a massive impact on two organised crime groups that have been completely dismantled

Gerry Smyth, Soca
The leaders of the gangs were Mohammed Nazir and John Ryder.

Leeds Crown Court was told they were operating at a scale that put them "near to the very top of the heroin trade within the UK".

Nazir and Ryder worked together because they needed each other.

Nazir had organised the purchase of the heroin in Turkey, although it probably originated in Afghanistan.

The drugs were moved through Europe to Holland where members of Ryder's gang organised for them to be smuggled into the UK.

The judge in the case admitted that the exact amount imported would never be known, however he said it was a "huge quantity".

Second factory

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) worked closely with Dutch police officers to establish the drugs route, while surveillance officers secretly photographed meetings between the gangs and bugged telephone calls.

The evidence they gathered helped to put eight men behind bars.

Nazir, 31, from Prestwich, and Karl Edwards, 33, from Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin.

Detectives found the rooms covered with powder
Ryder, 29, Daniel Hayes, 42, both from Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import heroin, as did Christopher Cobby, 39, from Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Following a trial, Abid Sabir, 25, Wajid Sabir, 29 and Sayedur Rahman, 25, all from Bradford, were found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin.

Gerry Smyth from Soca said: "We have made a massive impact on two organised crime groups that have been completely dismantled.

"They would have continued with their business for many, many years to come and would have put many more hundreds of kilos of heroin on the streets of the UK."

The apartment in Bradford was not the only heroin factory.

Equipment had been moved to a Birmingham suburb where another so-called "bash house" was being set up.

Inside the home, officers discovered protective clothing, an industrial mixer and hydraulic presses - all needed to prepare the drugs for sale by dealers.

From the bases in Bradford and Birmingham, Nazir had planned to supply the heroin to dealers throughout England.

Mr Smyth said: "I really do believe they are very significant finds.

"I think we've been very successful in taking a lot of heroin off the streets."
So after reading an artice in yesterdays YEP that an apartment on Park Row in Leeds City Centre next door to Caffe Nero was used as a brothel http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/VIDEO-Sex-cops-swoop-on.5459415.jp surely things such as this can't do the idea of city living any favours (if you associate city living with things such as drug factories and prostitution over homes).
 

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An apartment in the GateHaus development was used as a heroin factory (with drugs totalling £7.5 million). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/8150854.stm



So after reading an artice in yesterdays YEP that an apartment on Park Row in Leeds City Centre next door to Caffe Nero was used as a brothel http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/VIDEO-Sex-cops-swoop-on.5459415.jp surely things such as this can't do the idea of city living any favours (if you associate city living with things such as drug factories and prostitution over homes).
Thats quite bad and dissapointing. Glad these twats are gone now. Theres still a lot of work that needs doing with this building, and the fact that this has happened won't make the work any easier.

Inevitably you will get these problems in City Living as it becomes more affordable, so we can just hope the Police are there to stop this.
 

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Jesus, things are going from bad to worse for The Gatehaus, no luck to be had for this project. I guess apartments are more exploitable this way especially with one that's half finished internally like The Gatehaus, with a sparse community of residents with poor shared surveillance.
 

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The big problem with Little Germany is getting a critical mass of owner-occupiers. It has happened in a couple of the developments - Silens Works most notably, but in others the population is too transient to have a real impact on life in LG.

The development of green space on the stalled Wastefield Site has improved the feel of LG and gives residents some much needed green space.

There's a piece on Little Germany here:

http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/LMU_58502_Regional_Essays_Publication_Final.pdf
 

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Bradford Council said:
Bradford makes seven for Jinnah Group

A group of Bradford residents who own six restaurants throughout Yorkshire are to open one in their home town.

The Jinnah Group will open Cafe Jinnah in The Gatehaus in Little Germany after signing a 15 year lease. They have been working with Bradford Council and have received a capital grant through the Bradford City Centre Growth Zone.

The Gatehaus is an eleven storey residential glass building built in 2008 with 142 apartments and a retail/leisure unit on the ground floor. Cafe Jinnah hopes to employ 10 staff and will have around 120 covers in the 4,500 sq ft restaurant.

Saleem Akhtar, partner at Cafe Jinnah, said: "As a group of Bradfordians who are partners in the business, we are delighted to have finally set up a restaurant in the city.

"We considered a number of opportunities but felt we had to support the regeneration of the city centre and back the investment being made by the likes of Westfield. We also feel our restaurant has a great location on the Leeds Road gateway into the city centre."

The Jinnah group also owns restaurants in Leeds, Harrogate, York, Selby, Flaxton and Malton.

Bradford Council leader, Coun David Green, said: "Cafe Jinnah will be a welcome addition to the city centre. It is in a very prominent position on the corner of Leeds Road and the inner ring road which sees a high volume of passing traffic and will see even more once the Westfield shopping centre is open.

"The unit has remained vacant and boarded up since the building was completed so I'm delighted it's to be a high quality cafe/restaurant."

Eligible businesses can receive rate rebates if they demonstrate they are creating new jobs in the city centre and businesses can also apply for capital grants of up to 50 per cent on machinery, equipment and property improvements.

The City Centre Growth Zone is part of a £35m initiative funded by Bradford Council and the Government's Regional Growth Fund.

Anyone interested in the City Centre Growth Zone or wanting free business support can contact Bradford Council's Investment and Enterprise Team on 01274 437727. Capital grants are only available until the end of March 2015.
https://www.bradford.gov.uk/bmdc/go...on/news/bradford_makes_seven_for_jinnah_group

So finally this unit is getting filled, and a big one it seems to be: 4,500 sq ft. Also seems like a decent franchise of restaurants:

www.jinnahs.co.uk

If only the issue with the apartments could get sorted out, then this building could have a brighter future.
 
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