Commercial property: Modern space has silver lining in Granite City

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CBRE has secured the latest tenant for landmark office development the Silver Fin Building on Union Street in Aberdeen on behalf of developer Titan Investors and owner British Airways Pension Trustees.

CATS Management (CML) is leasing part of Level 7 in the building, relocating from its former premises on Bon Accord Crescent and has now taken occupation.

The company operates CATS (Central Area Transmission System), a natural gas transportation and processing system that transports gas through a subsea pipeline from the central North Sea to a reception and processing terminal at Teesside in north -east England.

Sean Mackenzie, a director at Titan Investors, says: “It is excellent news that we can confirm this letting to CML and we are delighted they have made the decision to commit to The Silver Fin Building.”

Derren McRae, managing director of CBRE in Aberdeen, says: “The letting to CML further demonstrates occupiers’ desire to move to modern Grade A office space which can offer both exceptional views of the city but also flexible open-plan floorplates.”

The building was recently named as the winner of the Best Commercial Workplace in Scotland category at the annual British Council for Offices’ regional awards.

The awards recognise the highest quality developments in the UK and sets the standard for excellence in the office sector.

The 132,000sq ft speculative development utilises locally- sourced materials, both internally and externally.

The core has been designed to ensure common spaces are proportional and functional and serve users in a “practical and elegant fashion”.

The design delivers a four-storey townhouse scale building mass to Union Street while at the back is a ten-storey tower at Justice Mill Lane.

The Union Street part of the building is designed to reflect the original Georgian plots, with flanking lanterns about a central composition.

The tower contains office accommodation and is enveloped in predominantly glazed elevations with a granite superframe overlay with anodised aluminium silver fins.

McRae says that the Silver Fin is just the latest in a growing trend in the city for companies to move from older, inefficient and inflexible granite buildings.

He says: “The building has already managed to secure some good strong names as tenants.

“Hopefully we will be announcing more lettings soon, with one of the major banks taking space and an oil operator joining the solicitors, financial wealth managers and construction companies giving a really good mix of occupiers for the space.

“Speculative builds in the city have been sporadic. With a lot of listed buildings in the city centre there hasn’t been the opportunity to build, so there has been a focus on out-of-town business parks for a lot of the energy sector companies.”

McRae says that with the revised master plan of the city council now in place, there is an encouraging level of interest to move to the centre.

He says: “I suspect we will need to see a bit more letting activity before speculative office development returns to Aberdeen fully, but with the likes of the Capitol, the Silver Fin and Marischal Square these high quality office developments are proving popular.

“With the Silver Fin building, the developer set out to create a London-quality office building and the success of the letting shows there is a market for it.”