FOR more than eight decades it served as a drinking den for Army veterans.
Now the former Royal Engineers Club in the New Town has become the most expensive rental property on the open market.
The five-storey Great King Street townhouse – which estate agents said was left in disrepair after its sale last year – will cost its new tenants £60,000 per year.
The owners of the five-bedroom property have invested in a major refurbishment – and agents say No. 78 has already attracted interested clients.
These are understood to include one wealthy family with a private chef.
The property includes two huge open plan kitchens, two public rooms, a study and a walk-in larder.
Property portal Citylets – which has 10,000 properties across Scotland and Northern Ireland – said at £5000 per month the Great King Street townhouse is the most expensive rental of a new breed of “super-premium” properties.
Senior analyst Dan Cookson said: “Over the last three years Citylets have seen an increase in the number of super-premium properties with rents of £4k pcm or more coming to the market.
“However, the £4000 pcm threshold is rarely exceeded in Scotland and usually only by houses in the Capital.
“Any apartment that achieves the record £5000 pcm figure will be a truly exceptional property.”
Also on the super-premium market at the moment is a three-bedroom penthouse on Wemyss Place in New Town for £4500 and a five-bedroom family home in Craiglockhart for £4000.
And thrust into the mix is a luxury eight-bedroom student apartment in the Newington district on the market for £4400.
As the Evening News revealed last year, the Royal Engineers’ Club was put up for sale after the club went just a few pounds into the red, although membership had been dwindling for years.
The 100 members are believed to have shared out thousands of pounds when the building sold last year.
No. 78 Great King Street is available from January and has two upmarket estate agents, Ben Property and DJ Alexander, showing top-level clients around.
Jamie Kerr, partner at Ben Properties, previously known as Jenners Property Lettings, said: “The market isn’t the greatest at the moment but the top end still moves.
“We get a lot of demand from relocation agents, and although the corporate side isn’t as big as it used to be, we still have one or two clients coming in looking for the £3500 – £4000 mark.
“We also have families coming over who will be here for two or three years, perhaps working for an oil company, and there are firms that will take on lets for their executives.
“More are coming to this market because they’re not selling and some owners aren’t under any pressure to sell.
“They can see what happens down the line and rent somewhere of the high standard we’re seeing.”