PART of Aberdeen’s empty John Lewis building could soon be revived as a continental-style produce market.
Those behind the ambitious market plans have revealed their goal to the Press & Journal, just hours after the new owner of the huge George Street structure was confirmed.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Why? Free to subscribe, no paywall, daily business news digest.
The chamber’s Morning Bulletin exclusively revealed yesterday that the millionaire property developer who purchased Aberdeen’s Bon Accord Centre had snapped up the neighbouring John Lewis site for just £270,000.
The iconic Norco House building has been sold to a company owned by Zakir Issa, a sibling of the billionaire brothers who own Asda.
Transaction documents seen by the Morning Bulletin confirm the property has changed hands for £270,000, which is a fraction of the £14.3million paid for the building just 12 years ago.
The deal follows Mr Issa’s cut-price purchase of the Bon Accord Centre – once value at over £200million – which he is understood to have acquired for under £10million.
Mr Issa’s company, EP Properties, has a commercial property portfolio across the UK.
Aberdeen Multicultural Centre (AMC) and Aberdeen Climate Action (ACA) are now pressing on with their proposals for a market in the old John Lewis building, hoping to help the environment by putting North-east food and drink in the shop window.
The bones of an agreement are already in place with the new owner, the P&J understands.
The market would take up only the ground floor of the former department store.
Ahashan Habib, manager of AMC, said: “We can now confirm that John Lewis is our target.
“We are hopeful, but there is no certainty in anything until a contract is signed.
“Discussions to finalise the finer details continue, but we have a broad agreement in place.”
ACA and AMC teamed up in the hope of reducing North-east food mileage and celebrating the array of multi-ethnic foods made in this corner of the country.
They want to make room for possibly more than 100 North-east producers.