The second phase of a £20 million hotel development that has transformed a derelict former Dundee jute mill will open its doors next month.
The former Lower Dens Mill off Blackscroft was once the beating heart of the Baxter Brothers textile empire but it took on a new lease of life when the 102-room Hotel Indigo began welcoming guests ahead of The Open championship at Carnoustie in the summer.
While the buildings bounded by St Roques Lane and Princes Street have now been back in commission for several months, work has continued on the five-floor Staybridge Suites property which runs along the Dens Street side of the extensive site.
Steven Frewer, director of Focus Hotels Management, which has developed the two hotels in partnership with IHG group and owners Percor Capital, confirmed the Staybridge unit will open for business on January 18.
Building works are complete and the property is currently being cleaned and fitted out while staff undergo familiarisation training.
“We have been working on this since 2013, so it has been a long burn but well worth it in the end,” Mr Frewer said.
“At Staybridge we have achieved practical completion from a builders point of view but we now have to clean it about 1,000 times for it to be at the standard for a client to stay in. We are looking to open on January 18 and from that point onwards we will have the two properties occupied.”
Hotel Indigo operates under a traditional hospitality model and is aimed at short-stay business and leisure travel.
However, the 85-room Staybridge Suites property is designed to offer solutions for clients who may be staying for more than a week, a month or longer.
Mr Frewer said guests could stay on a “transient” basis, like they would in a normal hotel, but he expected Staybridge’s main appeal to be to contractors and researchers employed at the city’s universities looking for a home from home-type environment.
“Staybridge is for extended stays,” he said. “It might be for people doing a stint at the university on project work or contractors doing work at the docks.”
With both properties on stream, the site will have an operational workforce of around 60 staff.
Mr Frewer said the plan was now to “pause for breath” and allow the two hotels to bed-in and find their market.
However, he conceded there could be further development in future on the site of the former Marquee nightclub on Constable Street.
The now-cleared site stands at the entrance to the two hotels and has been mooted as a possible location for a spa and leisure facility for guests.