Queen’s Square, Aberdeen
Aberdeen’s Queen’s Square is set to be transformed into a new residential-led, mixed-use urban quarter, bordered by cultural venues and grade A office development at Marischal Square.
This is a multi-phase scheme in a prime location, the opportunity could take various flexible forms (i.e. equity or debt finance) and there are opportunities for joint ventures for some or all phases.
The project has a Gross Development Value of £100million - £150million and all ten phases are expected to complete by 2025-6. Phases 1-3 are scheduled for 2019-20 start and present opportunities for hotel, residential and retail/leisure. The estimated construction costs for phases 1-3 are £18.5million, with GDV of £26.5million.
Aberdeen City Council are promoting this mixed use, residential led proposition which includes 350 apartments, 9,000m2 leisure / retail.
This project occupies a prime site in the heart of Aberdeen, adjacent to the new (£107million) Marischal Square development (http://www.marischalsquare.co.uk/). Recent data on office occupancy demonstrates a doubling of take-up in 2017 to over 37,000m2. Oxford Economics has predicted that Aberdeen will grow by 7.4% over the next five years.
This transformative scheme will deliver a new urban quarter alongside existing cultural facilities which will result in a vibrant quarter that is active throughout the day and into the evening.
The project is central to the City Living approach that is being promoted to re-energise the core of the city and is complemented by major investment in public realm, infrastructure and iconic parks and squares.
Aberdeen’s economy is diversifying quickly and the city was recently recognised as the best place in the UK to start a new business.
Invest Aberdeen, a new inward investment hub for Aberdeen was officially launched recently. Informed by the Aberdeen Inward Investment Plan, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils have jointly established Invest Aberdeen with an aim of growing investment into the region.
The region is currently benefiting from a £9billion investment pipeline, including harbour and airport expansions, city centre developments and transport and digital improvements, creating significant investment opportunities and further bolstering the region’s strong business credentials.
Local business leaders and stakeholders came together at the official launch to hear more about the ambitions and remit of Invest Aberdeen which plays a key role in the delivery of the ambitious Regional Economic Strategy.
With a core team of five complemented by colleagues in public and private sector organisations, the Invest Aberdeen team offers a one-stop-shop for exploring business opportunities in the region. From identifying property to recruitment and finance solutions to business and planning support, the team is in place to deliver a tailored service to meet investor criteria.
Invest Aberdeen will also work to raise the profile of the significant opportunities on offer in key international markets, exhibiting at next week’s Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) conference and exhibition in Stavanger is next on the agenda.
The launch event, sponsored by Muse Developments, was held in Marischal Square, a £107million mixed use development which has transformed the heart of Aberdeen. Guests heard about the region’s sector strengths and the importance of their role as ambassadors.
Co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “Aberdeen City Council is driving unprecedented transformation in our city. We are in the midst of delivering an ambitious £1billion capital programme which will improve opportunities for individuals and businesses in Aberdeen, whilst providing a solid foundation for the region as a whole. We have recently established a new inward investment hub. Invest Aberdeen will work in partnership with key stakeholders to further grow investment into the city and wider region and create competitive growth opportunities in our priority sectors.
“Innovation and diversification are at the heart of Aberdeen City Council’s plans. We are already established on the world stage but must work hard to build on that position – and the evidence of that commitment to progress can be seen throughout the city.”
Steve Turner, regional director, Scotland, at Muse Developments which is behind the £107m Marischal Square development, said: “Marischal Square is playing a significant role in breathing new life into the heart of the city.
“The development is helping to bring investment and several hundred jobs back to the east end of the city centre with the additional staff bringing increased footfall and spend to other local businesses.
“Marischal Square has transformed the surrounding area with the part-pedestrianisation of Broad Street, the addition of Andy Scot’s ‘Poised’ sculpture and creation of open thoroughfares to Marischal College and Provost Skene’s House attracting both businesses and visitors to the new quarter.
“The number of major businesses now buying into the vision for Marischal Square is really encouraging and there is no doubt the prestige brought to the project by leading businesses and brands, including RBS, Aberdeen Journals and All Bar One, benefits both the development and city centre as a whole.
“One of the ambitions for the development was to extend the ‘life’ of the area around Broad Street and we already see that happening.”