Fifteen office blocks were marked for demolition last year in Aberdeen – compared with only nine in 2019.
There is an abundance of office space available across the Granite City, with a number of office and retail space planned for demolition due to disuse.
Some units, such as Police Scotland’s headquarters and McKay’s on Queen Street, are being knocked down as part of wider plans.
Both buildings will serve as part of Aberdeen City Council’s City Centre Masterplan, turning Queen Street into a civic quarter.
The Carden Place building that housed Valentino’s bar and restaurant – formerly Dizzy’s – as well as Lefevre Litigation has also recently been demolished, after it was destroyed last year following a fire.
Meanwhile, Greyfriars House on Gallowgate also begun to be knocked down in November, as plans to build flats on the former home to the Department For Work and Pensions office was approved earlier this year.
Other buildings marked for demolition this year included the KMD Business and Conference Centre on Wellington Circle, an office complex on the corner of Wellheads Place and Wellheads Crescent and City Gate on Altens Farm Road.
Trafalgar House on Hareness Road was also put forward for demolition, as well as three commercial buildings on Canal Road, and Loirston House at Wellington Road.
Other sites planned to go this year included Schlumberger Oilfield’s Woodlands Drive site, and the former AM Phillip Truck and Van site on Auchmill Road, as well as Aberdeen Blast Cleaning Services on Hillview Road in Tullos, Tyseal Base on Craigshaw Crescent and Alba Gate on Stoneywood Park, which was only planned to be partially demolished to make way for new residential plans.
Councillor Alex Nicoll, who represents the Kincorth/Nigg/Cove area where a number of the sites demolished fall, has called for more support for the oil and gas sector, who typically have taken up office buildings in the area.
He said: “There are a growing number of brownfield sites appearing in the area. The demolition of buildings is I am sure a sound business decision to limit cost and expense. I think the reason is fairly straightforward
“Many respectable independent commentators have said Aberdeen and the north-east will be the worst affected area from the disastrous situation of Brexit and the energy sector downturn. In addition we now also have Covid.
“Quite simply companies are being faced with costs and overheads that can be mitigated by demolition.”
In the last quarter, commercial real estate firm CBRE said office take-up in Aberdeen totalled 81,723 sq ft, a drop of 33% on the same period in 2019.
It also said that four of the largest transactions in the city were for office space in Dyce, with TAC Healthcare purchasing Wood’s former Wellheads Crescent office, energy services company Expro acquiring Kirkhill House and drilling waste specialist TWMA and subsea contractor Ocean Installer both moving into Aberdeen International Business Park.
It was an improvement in the second quarter of the year, where a drop of 69% was recorded in the take up of office space in Aberdeen.
In recent months, take up has been said to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the effect on the oil price.
Last year, a number of office blocks were also deemed to be unnecessary, including one on Minto Drive, office units at Kirkhill Business Park in Dyce, a business centre at the Cammack Business Centre on Greenbank Road, the Medical Sociology Research Unit on Westburn Road, a disused office at Fleming Buildbase on Silverburn Place, the former council building and works depot on School Road and units at Souter Head Road in Altens.
The most notable demolitions, however, included the former Baker Hughes office on Claymore Drive and the former AECC arena building.