Everything we know so far about the £1 billion Edinburgh St James centre

The 17 million sq-ft centre is due to open in October 2020.

By Elsa Maishman
Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 9:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 9:54 am

With less than a year to go until its grand opening, cranes have already started disappearing from Edinburgh’s 17 million sq-ft shopping centre.

The £1 billion centre due to open in October 2020 will host 85 shops, 30 restaurant, two hotels and a cinema.

It may also house a reincarnation of Jenners, after it was announced that the iconic department store will leave Princes Street after 180 years.

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The development will house 85 new shops. Picture: Edinburgh St James.

Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, who owns the current Jenners building, has plans for a hotel, cafes, and rooftop restaurant and bar for the location instead, including a 'total restoration' of the A-listed building.

House of Fraser, which trades under the Jenners brand name, is due to leave the building in 2020 or 2021, and could move to the St James Centre, but owner Mike Ashley has not yet confirmed the store's future location.

The St James site is on track to open in October next year, with the biggest of nine tower cranes at the site due to be taken down this week with the help of a ‘large mobile crane’.

The large mobile crane, delivered at 3am on Thursday, is needed due to the extreme size of the tower crane - the largest in Europe.

Cranes at the St James centre have begun to disappear.

This is the second crane to be removed from the building site, to be followed by the other seven over the next 10 months.

The cranes have been in place since March 2018, meaning they will have dominated the city’s skyline for more than two years by the time they are fully taken down.

When the centre opens its doors in October 2020, it will account for more than a fifth of all retail in the city.

The city’s first W hotel - W Edinburgh - will also open at the centre, along with a Roomzzz Aparthotel and the first Everyman cinema in Edinburgh.

Picture: Edinburgh St James.

The hotel and cinema are due to open later in 2021.

Some 85% of the 85 shopping units at the centre are already spoken for, with the rest still to be confirmed.

Clothing retailer Zara will occupy a three-floor, 37,000 sq-ft store in the main shopping area, which will also house clothing stores Next, New Look, Hackett, Stradivarius, Bershka, and Pull & Bear.

Mango will open its first Edinburgh store in the centre, along with a selection of 30 restaurants.

There will be two hotels, a W hotel and a Roomzzz Aparthotel. Picture: Edinburgh St James.

The five-screen Everyman cinema will include plus sofa seats and a range of food and drink delivered directly to customers’ seats.

Edinburgh St James will also feature three public squares, doubling as event spaces during the festival season.

The centre has already seen more than 5,000 new workers inducted onsite, over 60% of whom live within 100 miles of it.

When up and running it will offer 3,000 permanent full-time jobs in various sectors.

Picture: Edinburgh St James.