In recent years, there has been rise of independent businesses in Elgin town centre.
There are also major plans on the horizon to transform Moray’s biggest town.
But despite the positive signs, there remain challenges – in the form of empty units.
We are taking a closer look at four prominent empty units in Elgin town centre and what the future holds for them.
Former Starbucks home
The former home of Starbucks at 143 High Street stands out in the Elgin town centre.
This building has served many roles over the years.
They have included a Royal Bank Of Scotland branch, Bristol and West Building Society and H Samuels.
Even a Wimpy franchise operated there before it became fast food chain Bytes.
Last year, after 14 years, Starbucks departed the property to move into the former Burton store across the street.
The ground floor unit is on the market with an annual rent of £30,000 plus VAT.
Shepherd Commercial is advertising the unit to let on behalf of the building’s owner firm Povey Properties.
The English company may consider a sale.
Some locals have suggested it will be best suited for another chain.
In 2019, William Hill on Elgin High Street closed down.
Since then the ground floor unit at 144-148 High Street has lain empty.
However two months later, the proposals were withdrawn.
The betting firm’s lease only expired in September and property returned to the landlord Hansteen Property Investments Limited.
It is understood, William Hill tried to sublet the unit.
However they were unsuccessful.
Now Shepherd Commercial are advertising the unit to let for £20,000 per year.
Once home to popular retailer Shoezone, the building at 134 Elgin High Street is on the market.
In January 2023, the footwear firm closed its doors and departed the property.
The property was considered by PureGym as they looked at properties in the Elgin town centre in line with the Moray Local Development Plan.
However, the firm couldn’t find any suitable premises in the town centre so ended up at Elgin Retail Park.
CCL Property is advertising the sale of the building owned by London-based real estate firm Hal Ventures Limited for offers in the region of £200,000.
Commercial director Coralie Pickering previously told us she believed the upper levels of the four floors building could be transformed into office space and flats.
132 High Street
A while ago, the building at 132 Elgin High Street was home to travel agents First Choice.
In recent years it has lain empty.
There were previous plans to breathe new life into the Elgin town centre building by giving youngsters a pathway into hospitality.
A, B + S Estate Agents based on Batchen Street had been advertising the building to lease for £15,000 per annum.
Owners Mark Kilnov and Elena Moskovskaya have been open up to all arrangements for the unit.
In January, we revealed a commercial let had been agreed for the unit.
Now it is home to Game District which buys, sells, trades and repairs consoles, games and mobile phones.
In February 2024, this story was updated.