Retail chain forced to relocate due to demolition of 1960s office block above Overgate

Boots on the High Street (stock image)

The Overgate centre’s “deteriorating” City House office block is set to disappear from Dundee’s skyline for good.

Plans have been submitted to Dundee City Council by property services company CBRE to level the monolithic block and replace it with a new roof covering.

Some of the Overgate’s upper mall units would be reconfigured to create a new management suite and a click and collect facility for online shopping.

Haircare chain Regis will have to relocate from its existing unit.

Samantha Jackson, senior planner on the project, said the block was of “limited architectural merit” — and that its demolition would improve the city’s visual appeal.

In documents lodged with the council, she said: “The demolition of City House provides an opportunity to remove an ageing building of limited architectural interest and enhance the appearance of the Overgate centre and the wider city centre.

“It is considered that its demolition will significantly improve the city skyline.

“This proposal contributes to the continued improvement of Dundee city centre and its role as an attractive place to be, through the removal of a building which continues to deteriorate.”

City House was built in the 1960s as part of the original Overgate centre development. However, much of the 10-storey block’s office space has not been used for some time.

The only tenants are financial firm Curtis Banks on the 10th floor and Overgate’s management on the fifth.

Site owner Legal & General Property, which bought the shopping centre for £125 million in 2014, has conceded that there has been little recent interest in leasing the spaces.

Other ideas for the offices — such as student accommodation and hotel use — were rejected as the block can only be accessed via the Overgate itself.

Ms Jackson added: “Since purchase in 2014, our client has been actively and continually marketing the available office space within City House through a local agency.

“Unfortunately, over the period of ownership to date, there has been little to no demand received.

“Feedback from our client’s agent is that City House is not seen as a traditional office location.”

How the new service desk at City House may look

Levels three and four of the block will be retained above the shopping centre, which will remain open during the demolition work.

These areas, and parts of the Overgate’s upper mall, will feature a new management suite and meeting room facility.

The click and collect facility will include a new information and customer service desk, as well as an Amazon parcel delivery locker.

However, as part of the move, hair salon Regis will have to relocate from its existing unit.

Centre bosses say they are working with the haircare chain to help it find a new home.