The Minto in Newington to be converted into housing

The Minto Hotel. Picture: Bill Henry
The Minto Hotel. Picture: Bill Henry
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A MAJOR new development is being planned for the site of a city centre hotel.

The Minto, in Newington, will be converted into eight apartments and three town houses as part of a bold new revamp.

Bosses said the transformation of the Minto Street 22-bedroom offering – which boasted views of Arthur’s Seat before shutting its doors at Christmas – would take around a year if it gets the go-ahead.

The project is being spearheaded by Merchant Capital, a company co-owned by developers Mark Emlick and James Tullis.

Mr Emlick said the “revived Minto” would be a “smart new address” for the Capital, providing residents with a “fantastic place to live”.

He said: “We are delighted to be involved in ensuring an iconic Edinburgh property stays with us.

“The Minto is an attractive building and we aim to enhance its appearance with our redevelopment.

“The façade will stay and the only demolition will be to non-original extensions constructed at the rear.”

He insisted the development team was “committed to the city”, adding: “I am very excited at transforming Minto and am delighted. I thank the local community for its support.”

The property guru is the brains behind a number of ongoing developments in and around Edinburgh, including the transformation of the former HM Revenue and Customs offices in the New Town into a 127 bed Premier Inn.

He was also behind the conversion of the Craigievar House office block – along with the surrounding area in East Craigs – into affordable housing, and in 2014 constructed 48 new flats as part of a major brownfield development at Lochend. Merchant Capital’s Minto Hotel development will see the 130-year-old main building turned into luxury apartments, while the non-original extensions to the rear of the hotel will be replaced with three new town houses.

Councillor Cameron Rose, who represents Newington, said the development represented a “significant refurbishment” that would be generally welcomed by residents – despite some locals still harbouring a few misgivings.

He said: “There have been quite a lot of issues for local people around the hotel in the past, such as over disturbance – and, in general, locals welcome the change to housing.

“There are some local concerns about certain aspects of the housing – around it being too close to neighbours’ boundaries, for example – but those are details.

“In terms of the overall concerns, they are not of the major order that you would usually expect with a development of this kind.

“There’s a huge need for housing in Edinburgh, and this is a central location.”