NHS Grampian has sold the iconic Woolmanhill Hospital complex in Aberdeen to local property developer CAF Properties, which has just received full planning and listed building consent to transform the A-listed Simpson Pavilion building into a 52-bedroom luxury hotel.
Subject to planning, the B-listed Stephen building will become 27 serviced apartments to be operated by the hotel and a further two B-listed buildings to form 42 apartments.
Glasgow-based hospitality firm G1 Group has been named as the owner and occupier of the hotel and serviced apartments with plans to open the hotel under the Scotsman brand.
The buildings are located in a conservation area and comprise: Victoria Pavilion (41,135 sq. ft); Stephen Pavilion (23,466 sq. ft); Simpson Pavilion (43,142 sq. ft); Archive Block (8,439 sq. ft); Gate House (466 sq. ft) and Outhouse (1,565 sq. ft), totalling 118,213 sq. ft.
The planned refurbishment will see the former hospital turned into a luxury hotel with luxury wall panelled bedrooms similar to its sister hotel, The Scotsman, Edinburgh, a bar, restaurant, jazz club and cinema club experience.
There will also be a range of function areas for weddings and private functions which will have the exclusive use of a fully refurbished Central Courtyard to the North with a garden area to the South. There are plans to turn an old brick vaulted basement area discovered at Woolmanhill into a late-night jazz bar.
James Morrison, associate, Commercial Agency at Shepherds in Aberdeen who facilitated the deal, said “We are delighted to conclude this sale on behalf of NHS Grampian, which marks a vote of confidence in the buoyancy of Aberdeen’s leisure sector and a significant step in the resurgence of the local economy, all adding to a recovery from the well-publicised dip in the oil and energy sector.”
Charlie Ferrari, Director of CAF Properties, added: “This deal marks the culmination of four years hard work with the possibly of another four to follow to ensure that we finish with a prime product in this new up and coming area of the city.
“We are delighted to have landed the G1 Group as they will produce an outstanding development. I would also like to thank NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council for their commitment in resolving an enormous variety of issues over the period.”
Building of the original hospital, to a William Christall design, began in 1740. However, Archibald Simpson, Aberdeen’s most famous architect, designed the Simpson Pavilion in 1833.