| Kingsbarns Golf Links (Cambo)
co-owner denies rumours circulating that his 'St Andrews Grand' building has
been repossessed by the bank
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Fury at state of iconic building
The Courier, 4 July 2008
Anger is mounting in St Andrews over the
shocking condition of one of the most famous buildings in the town
- the former Hamilton Hall student residence, located behind the 18th green of
the Old Course, which featured in the film, Chariots of Fire.
The landmark Victorian multi-storey property was bought
from St Andrews University by an American real estate firm in 2004 for a
reputed £22 million.
However, the distinctive red sandstone building has been
lying empty ever since and is now showing clear signs of deterioration.
As it features in every televised golf championship at St
Andrews its rundown condition has now attracted furious criticism.
Several windows in the six-storey property have been
smashed and others are boarded up, while rubbish and other debris litter the
rear. There are also several broken vents and some windows covered with
Townspeople, councillors and Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Ted
Brocklebank are among those who are up in arms. Mr Brocklebank has now raised
the issue with the owners, Rhode Island-based Wasserman Real Estate Capital
Conservative MSP Mr Brocklebank said yesterday, It is
extremely concerning to see the current state of Hamilton Hall.
Hamilton Hall is part of the geography that sells the
Old Course around the world.
With many thousands of international visitors
expected to visit St Andrews as part of the year of Homecoming in 2009 it is
inconceivable that such an important building should remain in its current
apparently abandoned state. The situation only becomes more unacceptable with
the Open Championship returning to St Andrews in 2010.
I have written to the owners requesting an update on
the plans for Hamilton Hall and pointing out the potential damage being done to
the towns reputation by this companys failure either to proceed
with the original development or to keep the public informed of the current
Apart from anything else this is a B-listed building
in a conservation area, and at the very least that brings responsibilities in
terms of keeping it in sound condition.
Chief executive of the R&A, Peter Dawson, added,
We look upon the lack of progress with its development with great concern
and hope that a speedy resolution of the issues delaying the project can be
A spokesman for the adjoining Best Western Scores Hotel
said he was sadly disappointed and deeply concerned at the state
and appearance of the building.
This is what the rest of the world will see at the
2010 Open Championship when the cameras are on the 18th green and Hamilton Hall
will be in the background. It is so sad that such an important building in St
Andrews is being left to deteriorate and no one can appear to be able to do
anything about it.
He is calling for the owners to carry out maintenance and
remedial work to make the overall appearance as it should be and repair broken
windows and clean up the rubbish at the very least.
Fife councillor Bill Sangster said, Townspeople want
to know what is going on and the developer should be forced to give some
answers. It would appear that the interior of the property has been gutted and
the debris heaped inside.
Fife Provost Frances Melville described the situation as
Catherine Rowe of St Andrews community council, added,
This is a landmark building and people are now horrified at its condition
and angry at the owners to allow it to fall into disrepair.
It is a prominent part of the towns history.
What is this saying to tourists and visitors from all over the world coming to
Former Fife councillor, Jane Ann Liston said,
Unfortunately the sort of venture which the developer had in mind,
relying heavily upon overseas investors, is very susceptible to the volatility
of the transatlantic market, which at this time does not seem inclined to
venture across the ocean.
Owner David Wasserman, whose company also has a controlling
interest in Kingsbarns golf links, a venue for the annual Dunhill Championship,
said, We are continuing to assess our options and the building will move
However, he has denied rumours circulating that the
property has been repossessed by the bank.
Mr Wasserman said, That is not the case. We still own
it and continue to consider the development options. more
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