Evening Express

Plans to create restaurant in empty shop units in Aberdeen city centre

The empty units on Union street could become a restaurant

Plans have been lodged to create a restaurant on the site of two empty shop units on Aberdeen’s Granite Mile.

Owner Kames Capital has submitted an application to turn two vacant retail units at 225 and 227 Union Street into a restaurant.

A design statement by Savils, agent for the application, said the owners are in “advanced discussions” with a “high quality restaurant operator” to move into the site.

Number 225 has lain vacant since June 2014 when the former occupier, a chiropodist, relocated to larger premises at 195 Union Street.

Bakery chain Greggs previously occupied 227 Union Street but it is currently vacant despite being actively marketed for eight months.

The statement added: “Demand for larger units is evident, especially given the relocation of both former tenants.

“There is a potential occupier for this proposal; and while negotiations are at an early stage, gaining consent to amalgamate the two ground floor units and the added flexibility to introduce seating for consumption of food on the premises will enable more flexible marketing of the property.

“In turn this should bring into use two long-term vacant units located on Union Street.”

The applicants said the occupation of the units will “contribute positively” to this part of the city centre.

They added the proposals would generate jobs and footfall and would diversify the “offer and appeal” of Union Street.

The statement added: “The proposals will help to keep vacancies on the west end of Union Street to a minimum.”

An application for listed building consent has also been submitted to the local authority to carry out both internal and external alterations to the category B-listed buildings.

Any further proposed physical changes to the internal layout or externally will be dealt with through future applications for listed building consent.

Councillor Alan Donnelly, who represents the Torry and Ferryhill ward, would be “very happy” to see a new addition to Union Street.

He said: “I would be very happy to see another restaurant coming to Union Street because there is nothing worse than seeing empty lots, which is of course down to a change in shopping cultures.

“We are also hoping that the introduction of the Alive After Five parking scheme will attract people back to the city centre, to make it the vibrant place it once was.”