The windows have been torn out of two city centre office blocks as part of the first stage of their transformation into luxury hotel accommodation.
Argyll House and the adjoining Waverley House in West Marketgait, Dundee, are on track to become a Hampton by Hilton hotel, as part of a 6.5 million regeneration plan.
Work started at the site a couple of weeks ago and project co-ordinator Nigel Gillan, of the Lindsay Gray Alan Beaton Partnership, said things were progressing well.
He said: “We are doing preparatory work at the moment, which involves removing concrete cladding panels and windows. All the windows are done and the job is coming along fine.”
Both office blocks are being stripped back to their concrete shells as part of an internal and external refurbishment.
Once finished, the 105-bedroom hotel will feature a gymnasium and a restaurant. Planning permission was granted fin November, with conditions surrounding the hours and permitted noise levels of construction work, and discouraging the use of private car parks.
While a sister Hilton chain, DoubleTree, has a presence in the west of Dundee, the West Marketgait property will see the brand return to the city centre after it was forced to close the Earl Grey Hotel on the Waterfront in March 2013.
The former 1.2 hectare site was required for the Waterfront redevelopment and Dundee City Council spent 8.5 million buying the land back, with the cost being part of the project’s 1 billion price tag.
Lord Provost Bob Duncan praised the speed with which the new project was unfolding. He said: “I’m delighted to see the work commencing so quickly. The sooner the site is improved, the better. It also shows the amount of confidence the hotel industry has in the city and, of course, it’s great we’ll soon have a Hilton back in the centre.”
Dundee City Council city development convener Councillor Will Dawson said: “I am pleased to see developments across Dundee and the new opportunities these are creating for the local economy. The city is continuing to change and we are all keen to see the benefits this will bring.”
The new hotel could open as soon as 2016. The Hilton development joins a series of other hotel projects happening in Dundee, including plans to turn Custom House, by City Quay, into an extension of the existing Apex Hotel as revealed by the Tele last week.