The owner of the “eyesore” former BHS and Aberdeen Market building has unveiled its new vision for the site for the first time.
Shops, independent cafes, offices and a penthouse restaurant are all being touted as possible uses for the redeveloped building, overlooking Market Street and The Green.
Developer Patrizia, formerly Rockspring, is planning to separate the BHS end of the building and rent it out to several shops which can have storefronts leading onto Union Street.
Meanwhile it wants to trim back the market part of the site, further opening up the space available in The Green to make more room for farmers’ markets, concerts and events.
Patrizia director Shaun Hose said: “By doing this we can give back some public space to Aberdeen and we can use this to draw more people into the Merchant Quarter.
“This hopefully will be the catalyst to add more independent restaurants and other fantastic destinations.
“It’s going to animate the whole area.”
The plans, which were shown off at a public consultation event inside the former BHS yesterday, show that the building will increase in height.
People on The Green will see it standing nine storeys tall but due to the significant sloping of the land, it will appear just seven storeys high from Union Street.
Mr Hose added: “If we are giving back some space then we need to go up to keep a similar size and I don’t think we need to be ashamed of having tall buildings in a central business district.
“And if we compare the building just now, which is standing at five or six storeys, there won’t be a dramatic change.”
The public consultation runs until the end of the month and the developers say everything they are proposing is subject to change.
This includes the exterior of the building. While the plans currently show it as solid grey stone with glass, Patrizia is exploring the idea of covering it in shards of granite for a modern take on the city’s heritage.
“There’s no detail yet as we want to listen to what the people of Aberdeen have to say.” Mr Hose said.
“We want to know what colours or materials they feel are missing from The Green.
“At the moment our proposal is very much a blank canvas and we are certainly open to all ideas.”
Retired word processing operator Sylvia Smith was one of many who attended the consultation.
She said: “I’m happy with what they are planning to do with the old building as long as they can deal with it all sympathetically.
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“Other developers have done some terrible things to buildings in Aberdeen but this one looks better.”
One male attendee, who did not wish to be named, said: “I think it’s going to be excellent.
“It means the building won’t be derelict any more and I’m happy with that.”
Views on the development can be e-mailed to PatriziaRegen@bigpartnership.co.uk until November 30.