PLANS have been revealed for a £20 million landmark office complex to finally transform the derelict Triple Kirks site, which has been a blot on the landscape of Aberdeen city centre for more than 30 years.
Triple Kirks - the Archibald Simpson-designed church complex overlooking Union Terrace Gardens - has been a major eyesore since the A-listed red brick spire of the North Kirk was left standing following the demolition of the Albion and St Paul’s churches in 1981. The Schoolhill site has been the subject of a succession of unsuccessful planning applications dating back to 1989.
Two years ago the Aberdeen-based Stewart Milne Group unveiled proposals to redevelop the site, close to Union terrace gardens, into a nine-storey office complex. The plans were subsequently approved by the city council.
But it has now been revealed that the transformation of the historic site in the heart of the city will now be taken forward by the Dandara Group, one of thee of the UK’s leading independent.
Dandara plans to invest more than £20million in breathing new life into the A-listed former church, after purchasing the site from Stewart Milne Group. The new office complex will be called “The Point.”
Gavin Wyley, managing director of Dandara in Aberdeen, said: “This is another significant step forward for the regeneration of Aberdeen city centre as a prime place to do business, and we are proud to have acquired one of the city’s true architectural jewels.
“We plan to begin development very soon and are in a position to move forward quickly thanks to planning permission having already been granted by Aberdeen City Council.”
The Point will provide 72,600sq ft of commercial office space within the footprint of the former North Kirk. Retaining the spire as its focus, the Point will provide seven storeys of open plan office space.
Mr Wyley said: “By delivering The Point we will create much-needed class-A office space to help re-invigorate the beating heart of the Granite City, and aim to be on-site before the end of the year with a target of completing the building in late 2015.”
He added: “With limited scope for iconic commercial development in Aberdeen we expect to see strong interest from the marketplace – The Point offers an ideal location for companies in the buoyant energy sector, and corporates who have long held an ambition to establish themselves in the city centre but have been constrained by availability.
“Elected members voted to embrace the future by approving Halliday Fraser Munro’s design for The Point and we can now begin our work to enhance the city centre by restoring one of its great landmarks.”
Councillor Barney Crockett, the leader of Aberdeen City Council, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “Everyone in Aberdeen will be delighted to hear that something is happening at Triple Kirks after so many years of waiting. Dandara has already made a big impact in the city and I am sure they will do a great job. Aberdeen is a magnet to development and this is another great step forward.”
Councillor Marie Boulton, the Deputy council leader, said: “This is wonderful news. The Triple Kirks was designed by Archibald Simpson and is a shining example of some of Aberdeen’s finest architecture. The re-development of this historic landmark is something citizens have wanted to see for many years and I am delighted Dandara plan to start work so quickly.
“It is fantastic to see so many wonderful plans for the city centre and this, combined with the redevelopment of the St Nicholas House site, will go a long way towards revitalising the city centre.”