Pans which would see a former Aberdeen office block converted into flats with co-working spaces, a cafe/bar and library have been recommended for approval.
The proposals would see the change of use and extension of the existing building to form a mixed-use unit which would accommodate 50 residential units, co-working office space (including conference and break out space) and a cafe/bar.
It would also include building a new commercial building, proposed to accommodate ‘makers’ space’ and a gym, as well as associated external surfacing and landscaping works.
A report prepared ahead of the committee added: “Access to the building would be taken via the existing main entrance on the north elevation, with separate access to the flats also available via stairwells and accesses to the rear (south) and side (west) of the building. Small private garden areas and landscaped privacy buffer strips would be
provided for the ground floor flats, with balconies and roof terraces provided for some of the flats on the upper floor levels, with the exception of the southern elevation.
“The central courtyard would incorporate a covered communal walkway which would double as a flexible communal amenity space for residents.
“A new three-storey building is also proposed in the north-eastern corner of the site. The building would provide three storeys of commercial space in the form of a makers’ space on the ground floor and a gym on the upper two floors with an external terrace at roof level.
“Undercroft car parking would be sited underneath the western half of the building’s footprint at ground floor level.”
A statement from Tinto Architecture on behalf of XUSA Properties, said: “While the site is currently occupied by an office building, the challenges facing the office market in Aberdeen are well known, with a significant oversupply of employment land in the city at present.
“In keeping with this trend, Alba Gate was marketed for office use for 6 months prior to being purchased by XUSA, with only one low offer made during that time, which was not accepted by the owner.
“It is however anticipated that it would take around 48 months for it to be re-let for office use at market rent, with this exacerbated by the Covid-19 epidemic, with many employers now likely to be reconsidering the need for expensive office spaces if their employees can work successfully from home, while employees working from home are also likely to be increasingly interested in flexible working arrangements.”