Tele gets fascinating final look inside Dundee Waterfront building before it becomes luxury flats and offices

The former DP&L building at the Waterfront is set to start new life as a flats and offices complex — and the Tele was invited inside for one final look.

Work is under way at Maritime House, at 26 East Dock Street, to prepare it for kitting out with kitchens, bedrooms and more, and preparing the ground floor for use as a commercial space.

DP&L left the block in 2014 after 100 years of use, and it was acquired just over a year ago by Maritime House Developments Ltd, a development company owned by Garry Mortimer and Irene Tierney.

Garry showed the Tele around the building, originally constructed in 1891, along with Malcolm Black, of Black and Scott Builders.

Malcolm Black and Garry Mortimer in the former DP&L building on East Dock Street in Dundee

The pair said they aimed to preserve as much heritage as they can while also bringing the Grade B block up to scratch.

Malcolm said: “It’s impossible to keep all the cornicing in the ceiling, for example. There are regulations we have to abide by but much of the outside of the building is structurally sound and it’s been well-kept.”

A giant world map on one of the walls

One of the original stained glass windows

As part of the renovation process, many of the iconic building’s fixtures have been kept, and will be retained after new fittings have been installed, such as period wood panelling and stained glass windows.

Other unique elements, such as unique carved DP&L fireplaces, will be relocated during the refit.

However, other fixtures — such as the building’s six heavyweight vaults — are being ripped out to make way for elements such as partition walls that will divide up the 10 flats.

Detail on one of the fireplaces
An artist impression of the replacement building

A decision has also yet to be made on a huge US Army-produced world map from 1959 showing shipping routes across the globe.

The cartographic image takes up an entire wall — and at present those working on site can’t find a way to remove it.

Scaffolding is to go up around the building this month, with work on tearing down an extension at the rear to make way for car parking set to begin at the same time.

Garry explained that the building had come to his attention as a result of the developments happening around it at the Waterfront.

He added: “It’s got to be modern inside, but it’s an iconic building that’s very well known — although DP&L have added to it so it’s a bit of a mishmash. But we’re retaining features like the wood panelling.

“When we started looking at it things were just getting under way at the Waterfront and the building is almost dead centre, so as a business we saw an opportunity to keep the building operational.

“We want to improve it and bring it back into use — rather than have it end up like other old buildings that get broken into and having problems with fires. Our goal is to keep the building alive for Dundee and to be successful with it.”

Interior remodelling is set to be complete by around the end of the summer or the start of autumn, with the intention to have people moving in before the end of the year.

Blackadders and DM Hall will be handling residential and commercial inquiries respectively later in the year, with the goal to have a flat kitted out as soon as possible to show potential buyers.

Garry added the local council had done its bit in helping to bring dilapidated buildings back into use.

He said: “With everything else happening here, with the V&A on the way in September, Dundee City Council is really embracing bringing buildings back into use. It’s a good time to be in Dundee — and you’ve got to thank the council for that.”