£20m hotels and restaurant plan approved for historic Dundee furniture store

Plans to convert a former furniture store in Dundee into two hotels and a restaurant have been given the green light by councillors.

Willison House on Barrack Street, which is most commonly known as the old Robertson’s furniture store, is to be part-demolished and then converted into two separate hotels and a bespoke restaurant.

Glasgow-based architects McNally Associates, who submitted the plans on behalf of Structured House Group, last year dropped earlier proposals to create student accommodation on the site after receiving a “lack of support” from Dundee City Council planning officials.

The proposals for the B-listed Art Deco building had already been revised once to include the retention of part of the facade of the former furniture store, after more than 700 people signed a petition calling for the building to be saved.

The store has been derelict since Robertson’s closed in 2011 after trading in Dundee for more than 100 years.

Large parts of the building will still be knocked down and rebuilt to house the new hotels.

The six-storey hotel block with 115 beds will be set back from the retained tiled façade and a separate six-storey hotel building with 100 beds will sit to the west of this.

In addition to this, there will be a licensed restaurant on the building’s ground floor.

City development convener, Councillor Lynne Short, said she was delighted the development was given the nod and that the developers would retain the iconic exterior.

She said: “I was involved in discussions with the community group who were keen on keeping the façade as intact as possible.

“I am delighted about the council’s decision and delighted this distinctive piece of Art Deco architecture is going to be maintained.

“The officers and the developers were keen to work together and I understand they are also keen for further work on projects and investing in developments on the waterfront.”

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