Scotland’s latest hotel development will take place in Aberdeen, reports reveal. The famous Woolmanhill Hospital buildings will be redeveloped, creating a hospitality asset for the city, say officials.
The Woolmanhill was renowned for medical breakthroughs and excellence in nursing care throughout it’s history. Indeed, its inception took place even before Florence Nightingale changed the face of nursing. But Woolmanhill’s doors were closed to patients for good in 2017 because the necessary budgets to maintain the properties and their services, became too high.
It remains however, an important local landmark for Aberdeen.
Project developer and investor, Charlie Ferrari, told us that initial work has already started on the historic site, that houses four, Grade A listed buildings.
Aberdeen’s hotel industry has been damaged by the oil and gas recession over the past decade and has had to contend with an over-supply of hotel rooms. But now the market has improved – and for the first time since the downturn, demand has returned.
The properties, which were initially designed by Aberdeen’s most celebrated architect, Archibald Simpson, were approved for development in 2018.
Part of the hospital will need to be demolished before it can be redeveloped, town planners say. They added that the project will cost in excess of £10 million.
The new hotel is the second property in the area to be developed by Ferrari – and will be a sister hotel to the famous hotel, The Scotsman, currently in central Edinburgh.
Ferrari, who says the renovation project is part of his lifelong dream for Aberdeen city centre, is delighted that work has commenced. An long term admirer of historic architecture, he says the buildings, which are of historic significance, had fallen into disrepair. Development, he explained, is the obvious way to preserve the integrity of the building.
Hotel rooms and apartments
Project details show the new Woolmanhill Hospital buildings (there are four in all) will take three years to develop. Three of the buildings will be renovated to become a 52-roomed hotel. The final building will be developed into 42 luxury and residential apartments. Locals in the area have expressed their approval of the project, which will be a welcome financial injection into the area.
Charlie Ferrari explained, “The guys are now on site and the first work is making it safe. They will then look at the buildings and there will be more substantial work next year.
He said the first phase of works would be the removal of asbestos from the site buildings and that some demolition would begin within the next few days. This would enable construction workers to begin managing the serviced apartments part of the project.
He added; “Further demolitions will also start next week adjacent to the Simpson Pavilion, again to make way for a future package of construction works to form the 50-bed hotel.”
Ryan Houghton, City Councilor, added, “I’m sure residents will also be pleased that work is beginning on this very historic building. It is a good step forward for the city and as a council we are looking closely at this beautiful area of the city centre.”