Developers could next week receive backing to knock down the former Department For Work And Pensions office in Aberdeen to make way for new homes.
Telereal Trillium wants to demolish Greyfriars House in Gallowgate to build as many as 140 flats.
Council officers have recommended members of the planning committee approve the plans in principle, as long as the developer signs up to a legal agreement to meet its conditions.
The developer wants to knock down the office block and construct three buildings, outlining two options for the number of flats which could be included.
A so-called “optimised illustrative scheme” shows 115 apartments- 26 studios, 52 one-bedroom, 29 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom flats.
Meanwhile the “maximised illustrative scheme” would consist of 140 units, dominated by 88 studio flats with 48 one-beds and four two-bedroom homes.
The three blocks would be built perpendicular to Gallowgate and be between five and seven storeys tall.
Roof terraces would be built into the buildings’ stepped design, which has been included to try to reduce how large they look.
Council officers said plans showed the development would not have a detrimental impact on historic buildings nearby.
A report to go to members on Thursday states: “Although the new buildings would be visible within the same vistas as the Mitchell Tower to the rear of Marischal College and St Margaret’s Episcopal Church, they would not block any key views of those buildings to the detriment of their setting.
“Furthermore, the views of those listed buildings in which the development would be visible are not the principal views associated with how those buildings or features are predominantly experienced and enjoyed.”
The southern ends of the buildings would face flats in Littlejohn Street, but planners believe the scheme “adequately minimises” the impact on the neighbouring development, which should not be “unduly affected” by shadowing and privacy.
Telereal Trillium has already agreed to pay the city nearly £290,000 to expand school, healthcare and transport services with the final total dependent on whether they pursue the 115-flat or 140-flat option.
The council will not seek a contribution towards Aberdeen’s affordable housing stock, as the developer takes advantage of the city centre waiver brought in to encourage development.
But the firm has agreed to carry out improvements planners claim would have “immediate tangible benefits” to surrounding public land, including the Seamount Steps, which lead down to West North Street from Gallowgate.
If it is later ruled unfeasible for the developer to carry out the public realm work, the council would expect another £85,000 to be spent in the community.
The council said it was not feasible to retain or move two murals on the existing Greyfriars House but the developer had indicated that new public artwork could be created on the flats.