The iconic Arnotts listed building in Paisley received a visit from owners new and old today as it continues to be brought back to life.
Dennis Liddell, a member of the Cochran family who originally owned the building, accepted a framed before and after picture from Council Leader Mark Macmillan and the Directors of Park Lane Developments.
The site is now jointly owned by a partnership between the council and Park Lane Developments who have worked together to restore the building to its former grandeur- with the addition of 11 luxury apartments in the listed frontage on Gauze Street.
The apartments added to the 31 flats built by the Link Group- all of which have been sold- as part of a long term plan bringing the site back into use.
The redevelopment of one of Paisley’s most recognisable buildings is continuing with the planned opening of a 120-seater restaurant- called Pendulum- due to be opened next year by the owners of the town’s existing Cardosi’s restaurant.
There are also plans for a further 22 flats on the Smithhills Street side of the site.
Dennis said: “We are delighted the building has been brought back into economic use by the developer. It was always extremely sad to see it lying empty for a number of years and falling into disrepair.
“Our hope is the development will be a big success and contribute towards the regeneration of Paisley Town centre- whilst not forgetting its origin of a small house belonging to my great great grandfather who started the then family business of Robert Cochran & Son.”
Councillor Macmillan, said: “The Arnotts building is an iconic part of Paisley’s town centre and it was disappointing to see it neglected for so long.
“We are working hard to redevelop the town centre and while we have to accept that the retail world has changed in recent years, we are still able to utilise the building to bring footfall back into Paisley.
“Park Lane have completed a fantastic set of luxury flats on the site and these will be complimented by a further 24 flats to be built by Link Group. This combined with the opening of a new restaurant on the ground floor will ensure the building is kept at the heart of Paisley with people being brought back into the town.
“We’re using our rich culture and heritage to advance our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and the redevelopment of the Arnotts is another step towards revitalising the area.”
Brian Clarke, Park Lane Developments Director, said: “Park Lane are delighted to have had a partnership with Renfrewshire Council to redevelop this iconic frontage in the heart of Paisley town centre.
“The listed façade, which dates back to 1925, had lain derelict for over 10 years and it’s extremely satisfying to see this impressive building for Paisley brought back into beneficial use”.
The redevelopment of the Arnotts site is part of a wider town centre regeneration programme which includes a £56.7m refurbishment of Paisley Museum, the creation of a new museum store on Paisley High Street and a £5m investment turning the Russell Institute into a skills and development hub.