Dandara reveals academic accommodation plan for Aberdeen’s Triple Kirks

The originally-planned office development
The originally-planned office development

Premium developer Dandara has revealed plans to develop the former Triple Kirks site in the heart of Aberdeen into a world-class new accommodation facility for academics.

Initially planned as a grade-A office building, the landmark, to be named ‘The Point’, is now intended to become a high-end student scheme, helping to deliver a key element of the city’s new masterplan – providing the chance to live as well as work and study in the city centre.

The Point’s apartments would regenerate the former Triple Kirks site and fit seamlessly with Aberdeen City Council’s vision for the rejuvenation of the Denburn valley area.

At the same time, it would deliver a vital boost in the availability of academic accommodation – where Aberdeen has been suffering from a critical shortfall for decades.

Aberdeen’s full-time student population of more than 21,000 makes a significant economic contribution to the city’s economy of more than £350 million of an estimated annual gross of £470m generated by off-campus spending.

Just 32 per cent of the total student body in need of accommodation can secure residency through University-managed and private housing at present

Gavin Wyley, managing director of Dandara in Aberdeen, said: “We envisage that The Point will become Aberdeen’s premier student accommodation, housing a number of live/study and overseas residents, helping address a well-documented shortfall of rooms.

“There are considerable changes to the way inner-city developments are being taken forward across the UK – there’s significant demand for high quality live/study accommodation and Aberdeen is no exception.

“Given Dandara’s considerable experience and expertise in city centre regeneration projects, our proposal would help bring full-time residents back to this prime central site, in line with Aberdeen City Council’s masterplan to provide a living city for everyone, with an emphasis on providing a broad mix of housing to the city centre.

“The proposal will be finalised in conjunction with Aberdeen City Council’s planning department.”

Neil Young, commercial director at Dandara, added: “Changing The Point from a Grade A office to academic accommodation has been driven by market cycles.

“The commercial property market remains strong in Aberdeen and we continue to invest heavily in commercial development throughout the region. Within the city core however the dynamic has changed with a significant amount of office development under way.

“Our flexibility and market-leading capability as a premium housebuilder has allowed us to review our plans and re-approach this iconic site to deliver a development that will benefit the city.”

Dandara is delivering more than 2,000 new homes in Aberdeen – with significant investment being made in the creation of major new communities at Hazelwood, in the city’s west end, and Stoneywood close to Aberdeen International Airport.

And it is taking forward the development of City South Office Park, a major business location close to the A90 and forthcoming Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. City South features significant high quality office and hotel development land. Speculative office pavilions ranging from 3,000 sq.ft are being taken forward, with first completions anticipated in quarter two 2015. The park’s first major headquarters project, a campus development covering 80,000sq. ft for a major energy sector firm, was confirmed earlier this year.

Dandara is also delivering significant office and industrial development at its Badentoy North site, with Schlumberger having already taken occupation of a major new premises.

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