Work to turn a historic Aberdeen hospital into a new boutique hotel and apartments could begin in January 2020, the Evening Express can reveal today.
CAF Properties, owned by Aberdeen-based property developer Charlie Ferrari, lodged plans two years ago to turn four A-listed buildings at Woolmanhill into a 52-bedroom hotel along with 42 residential apartments.
Mr Ferrari said they hope to be on site by January 2020 to begin construction work.
He added: “We just got the planning consent so we will need to go for licensing board approval in January 2019 then we have to apply for all sorts of building warrants.
“It is likely we won’t be on site until January 2020.
“It’s been a long haul and we have a lot of hard work to go.”
City council planners have approved proposals for the site, which closed its doors in April 2017.
In their decision report, they said the proposed development represents a “sustainable re-use of derelict listed buildings”.
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They added the proposals, which would retain the facades of the original buildings, would protect the “historic asset” and the character of the area.
NHS Grampian declared the site, which was the original Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, surplus to their requirements in 2013, with all the facilities relocated elsewhere within the health board’s estate.
Building on the original hospital site was begun in 1740, designed by William Christall. But Aberdeen’s most famous architectural son Archibald Simpson designed the Simpson Pavilion in 1833.
This part of the site would be converted into a “high-quality boutique hotel” which would include bedrooms, a bar, restaurant, jazz club and cinema club experience, plus a range of function areas for weddings and private functions.
Aberdeen historian Diana Morgan described the buildings at Woolmanhill as some of the city’s “most iconic”.
Historic Environment Scotland described the site as a “rare example” of a hospital that has not been significantly altered since the late 19th Century.
Traffic would continue to access the site via the existing entrance from Woolmanhill while access to the residential apartments would be from Spa Street.