A new retail outlet, which offers breathtaking views of the Scottish Pentland Hills, is set to open in June 2014 following a 14 month construction project.
The Pentland Outdoor Centre is being developed with a strong emphasis on healthy living and sporting activities.
Premier Construction caught up with Pentland Outdoor Centre Partner Gordon Lee to find out more about his newest venture. Gordon is also a partner of Craigdon Mountain Sports retail outlet which will have its own retail unit within the centre.
Upon completion the centre will span four storeys including an underground floor, ground, first and second floor. These different storeys will comprise mainly of retail as well as complimentary businesses of restaurants, coffee shops and healthy living venues including a chiropodist and a physiotherapists.
Aberdeenshire based main contractors BANCON Construction are in the process of trying to lay all of the sites foundations before the Christmas period. These foundations are pre-cast concrete walls and have involved extensive underground digging as well as installing the drainage systems. The initial foundation laying process was complicated due to the discovery of asbestos which delayed the project by six weeks.
Gordon Lee said:
“The existing old pub on the site had to be demolished and it was during this demolition we encountered problems. We discovered a concreted over floor that contained an old steam boiler covered in asbestos, so we had to appoint an asbestos contractor to remove it all.
“Two weeks became six weeks but it is the procedure when asbestos is discovered; we have had a lot of issues as a result but we have worked through it. January is crucial for us as the steel frame will arrive and the project will become more visual.”
Following the arrival of the steel frames the site will be fire coated and concrete floors will be fitted. Joiners will then fit the panels throughout the whole building as it is timber clad with a natural stone at the bottom.
Craigdon Mountain Sports currently operate four stores, with their fifth opening in Pentland Outdoor Centre in June next year. Gordon said it is a strange situation as they are tenants within the building but also the landlords as he is a partner so he said the company take a lot of pride in the success of both the centre and the individual store.
The building will be constructed with numerous environmental features including a complete solar roof, being thermally efficient, uses high insulations, modern building techniques, grey water tank and efficient lighting.
The centre focuses on its location opposite the Pentland Hills and offering visitors a pleasant buying experience. Partner Gordon Lee said the centre wants to bring people together who enjoy the Pentlands for sporting uses such as climbing, skiing and walking. In keeping with rural location of the centre extensive landscaping will be undertaken to ensure the centre is not just a cold retail unit and instead is a lush site that can be enjoyed inside and out.
There will be enough parking spaces for 45 cars and as the centre is situated right on the bypass in Edinburgh it is conveniently located for those who fancy a quick coffee or shopping trip. The building faces south for the solar panels but also faces the Pentland Hills and so offers impressive views of the Scottish landscape and acts as an ideal venue to visit as you leave Edinburgh.
Gordon Lee said he has one main aim for the centre that it is in keeping with the natural beauty that surrounds it:
“The key is that the centre is not simply a massive steel shed, like most retail centres are, it is very in keeping with the countryside and therefore is a lovely place to visit. It is almost like a visitors centre, offering an enjoyable buying experience for visitors as well as venues to eat and drink.
“Everything is being developed to a very high standard especially the sites gardens and external areas. For these reasons it is very rewarding to be involved in, we want to create a lovely building in a picturesque setting.”