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Proposal for new Aberdeen hotel sparks city centre revival hopes

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Plans to transform an Aberdeen office building into a hotel and apartment complex have been hailed as a vote of confidence for the city centre.

The Point A Hotel firm has applied to change Denburn House, on Union Terrace, from office space to an accommodation complex.

The company wants to redevelop the 54,000sq ft listed building into two separate venues, one which would operate as a regular hotel and another which would offer self-catering apartments.

Papers lodged with Aberdeen City Council say that the “aparthotel” section would feature a fitness suite and guest laundry to support the longer stays.

A design statement adds: “The building affords long views to the north, with uninterrupted views over Union Terrace Gardens.

“Planning permission and listed building consent should be duly granted.”

Vice-chairman of the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association, Andrew Martin, said the proposal has come at a time when hopes are growing for the centre of the Granite City.

He said: “We have only last week had a new Marriott open at Marischal Square, and this only further contributes to the regeneration of the city centre.

“It is important to have vibrancy in the heart of Aberdeen.”

Mr Martin, who is also the director for the Scottish Centre of Tourism at Robert Gordon University, conceded that the struggling market could pose a challenge for the venue should it gain planning permission.

He added: “The city centre isn’t enjoying the rates and occupancy levels it did in 2015, so things will be difficult for a new venture.

“Offering a differentiated product, with apartment spaces, should give this firm some form of unique proposition though.”

City centre improvement group, Aberdeen Inspired, also welcomed the plans being lodged.

Chief executive, Adrian Watson, said: “We have seen some significant investment of late in our city centre, despite the challenging operating environment it finds itself in.”

The 20-25 Union Terrace site dates back to the late 19th century, but the buildings were mostly demolished in the 1980s with only the fronts being retained.

The site is located within the Union Street conservation area, and the developers have pledged to retain the original stone frontage.

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