The disused floors above 139 Union Street – once home to shops such as Virgin Megastore and Boots – have been turned into high-end apartments by specialist developer City Restoration Project. The six properties, which range from £155,000 to £240,000, are described as helping enliven Aberdeen’s “Granite Mile”.
The move comes as the creation of high-quality urban homes is one of the eight objectives of the Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan, the local council’s regeneration blueprint for Union Street and the surrounding area.
Councillor Marie Boulton, a key player in the masterplan and chair of the city’s planning and development committee, said: “It is the ambition of City Centre Masterplan to deliver high-quality, city-centre living and I am delighted to see the excellent redevelopment of the upper floors of 139 Union Street.”
City Restoration Project is led by Dean and Darren Gowans, and the brothers have been working for almost a year to turn the property into one- and two-bedroom homes.
They have restored original period features, such as ceiling cornicing and herringbone oak flooring, and fused them with the likes of marble bathrooms, German-engineered kitchens, and Silestone quartz worktops.
The homes all have enhanced acoustic sound insulation, and the building has views of Union Street to the front, Back Wynd to the side and The Green and Nu-Art to the rear. The developers said they were drawn to the site’s granite façade and chance to help regenerate the city centre.
Dean Gowans said: “This is our second build in the area after developing 148 Union Street a few years ago, and we were excited by the potential to create bright and spacious homes within these historic buildings.”
He highlighted the property’s original features like 3.6-metre high ceilings and some floor-to-ceiling windows, and he and his brother are seeking similar sites for development. He also said: “City-centre living – giving people entertainment, leisure and work on their doorstep – is a growing trend in most UK cities.
"The character and charm of Union Street buildings is now being enhanced by major investment in projects like Union Terrace Gardens and the Art Gallery, so Aberdeen has as much to offer in this space as anyone else.”
Adrian Watson, head of Aberdeen Inspired, welcomed the new development. He said: “This fits perfectly with the city living strand of the masterplan, as we look to bring more people into the heart of our city to live, work and of course enjoy the many attractions and amenities on offer.”
The development is being marketed by Aberdein Considine, which is expecting “strong” demand. The law firm’s national estate agency director, Alan Cumming, said: “This part of Aberdeen is undergoing a multi-million pound transformation at the moment, and with the redevelopment of Union Terrace Gardens and part-pedestrianisation of Union Street, it is going to be a beautiful place to live.”
He also noted that all the properties are exempt from Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.
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