Four entire floors of a handsome sandstone building in Dundee City Centre are going to auction, with opening bids starting at just £405,000.
The former Robertson’s Whisky Bond is in a prime location on the Seagate, next to the Marks and Spencer building.
Dating from 1897, the B listed building was originally a whisky bond for John Robertson and Company, who sold their famous Yellow Label whisky.
From around 1980 parts of the upper floors were used as a Dundee Printmakers’ workshop, until it was moved to Dundee Contemporary Arts in 1999. Since then the upper levels of the building have remained unused.
The ground and basement floors, which are not part of the sale, are retail units. They contain the clothing shop Arkive.
The upper three floors and the attic level are all for sale. They have full planning permission to be converted into 27 flats. These comprise 19 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom apartments.
Conversion to apartments
Arbroath based Voigt architects spearheaded the design for the conversion. The sympathetic design calls for the roof and walls to be repaired, but keeps the façade looking much the same as it currently does.
If the flats averaged £150,000 each, the completed development would be worth in the region of £4 million. Given the listed nature of the building and the extent of works required, development costs will be higher than average.
A quirk of the UK tax system also makes it more expensive to renovate a beautiful historic building such as Robertson’s Bond than it is to construct new build properties.
New build properties attract a zero VAT rate. Meanwhile refurbishments have to pay VAT, making them 20% more expensive. There have been calls for the government to reform this rule to make rescuing older buildings more attractive.
Voigt Architects’ director Jonathan Reeve said: “The current proposals are to convert the upper levels into 1-2 bedroom apartments, via a sympathetic and careful restoration and refurbishment of a Category B listed building of regional importance.
“The spacious new apartments retain the building’s original features and window openings, whilst bringing the building up to modern standards of comfort and amenity.
“The development will provide a unique opportunity to own a piece of Dundee’s heritage right in the city centre.
“Voigt Architects Limited are experienced in working with historic and listed buildings and obtained full planning permission, which has now been activated via initiation of minor works on site so will be in perpetuity.”
Robertson’s Bond is being sold by Future Property Auctions with an opening bid of £405,000. The auction takes place on Thursday November 30.