Dundee City Council recently announced a rather ambitious development project centred on the construction of a brand new waterfront office block at an estimated cost of £15.5million. The council clearly has high hopes for the development which, if they pay off, could provide a substantial return on their investment.

This is according to leading property developer and director of Dundee’s Unicorn Property Group, Mr Tim Allan. Mr Allan describes the project, which would be built “on spec” in the hope that businesses would then come forward to rent the space once it’s built, as ‘high-risk, high-return’ and admits that the controversial project would have been too risky for any private developer to take on; despite this clear risk however, he remains confident that the council have made a wise decision.

Img: Dundee Waterfront
“Over the past ten years we have built large and small commercial property in Dundee,” says Mr Allan, “The problem with building big offices on spec, without a tenant secured, is that it’s very, very high risk. Private sector developers just won’t do that.

“What the council is doing on the waterfront is addressing a gap in the market and I can understand why they’re doing it. If a large company or government department wants to relocate to Dundee, they would normally need to wait several years for a space to be built for them.

“But the council is ensuring that if that happens, there would be a space available immediately. It is a big risk but if it works it would create jobs, and that’s what matters.”

That being said the development is not without its opposition. More than 1000 people have signed an online petition opposing the plans for the new building, which would be located alongside the V&A. Critics however seem less concerned about the cost and risk, rather they complain that the offices would obstruct the view of the new design museum from the city centre and detract from the overall development of the waterfront.

However Mark Galloway, executive director of city development for the council, insists that a “lack of suitable office space” is holding back the city’s economy and that the new development could help remedy this situation by providing space for up to 800 employees, creating much-needed jobs in the process.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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