David Rose, Partner in Lindsays’ Commercial Property team, believes that investment interest in Dundee will intensify thanks to a feelgood factor fuelled further by the Eden Project’s ambitious plans for the city. He says developers are watching closely to capitalise on a string of new investment announcements that he believes will unlock a ripple effect in the area’s economy.
Plans to transform the former gasworks at East Dock Street into a major visitor attraction are expected to create 200 jobs and inject £27m-a-year into the region. News of that vision comes on the back of the announcement that a multi-million pound office development in West Marketgait will house 1,000 BT contact centre workers.
That’s on top of confirmation that 500 Social Security Scotland staff are to be based at Agnes Husband House, the continued buzz around the V&A - and with hopes that a 4,000-capacity esports arena could join them on the Waterfront.
David said: “Looking at the Eden Project, the V&A and the esports arena alone, I am sure that the presence of one is encouraging others to invest.
“It’s dreamland, almost. If you had said just a few years ago that even one of these developments would happen, people would be pleased. But to have the very real prospect of all three is fantastic.
“We are seeing developers looking at the Waterfront plots and other sites to explore the potential of all types of uses. Innovation is really important in all of this and I am sure that news of the other schemes is giving them confidence and will lead to them committing to projects.”
The Tay Cities Deal - which includes £15m of support for the creation of the world’s first institute for forensic science innovation, at the University of Dundee, and £45m towards new innovations at the James Hutton Institute - will also play an important role in attracting others to the city.
David is confident that the new office developments alone will be good news for existing food and hospitality ventures - enhancing the trade from the visitor ventures.
“These are going to be a massive boost, especially for hospitality businesses which have already invested in the area,” David said. “Cafes, restaurants and pubs should all expect to benefit, which will be especially good news given the challenges they have faced during the pandemic. Hopefully all of these workers in the city centre will create business for them, enhancing the trade from tourists coming in and the general hospitality trade.
“And all of this is on top of the sporting buzz that’s around the city - with two teams playing in the Scottish Premier League next season.”
David has worked in the north east commercial property sector for nearly 30 years, believes the esports arena would be a gamechanger for hotels around the Waterfront, with people travelling to take part in its specialist events extending their visit beyond day trips.
He added: “It genuinely feels as though there is about to be another step change in the city. Dundee City Council and other stakeholders are delivering in making Dundee a place that people want to be part of.”