Demand soars for luxury flats at former Donaldson’s school

An internal view of the transformation of Donaldson's Schoo into flats. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
An internal view of the transformation of Donaldson's Schoo into flats. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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DEVELOPERS have reported a huge demand for luxury new flats in the much anticipated Donaldson’s School for the Deaf redevelopment, with an “exceptional” level of interest.

Property experts Rettie & Co, who are handling sales, have received more than 1,500 notes of interest for the homes at the category A listed former school.

The £53 million development of the historic Haymarket building into 112 one to three-bedroom apartments will be completed in phases, with buyers able to bid for a flat at the launch this autumn.

Simon Rettie, managing director of Rettie & Co, said the interest so far had been “exceptional”.

“We expect the number of interested parties to continue to climb as we progress towards the sales launch in autumn this year,” he said.

“Donaldson’s is such a high profile building within Edinburgh and forms an important part of its history.

“We are delighted to work with [renovators] City & Country on this remarkable project and are confident that an exceptional addition to the city will be created.”

Mr Rettie confirmed the imminent unveiling of two show homes to give potential buyers a flavour of the “brilliant way City & Country has made use of the space”.

Built between 1842 and 1851 after its benefactor and local newspaper publisher James Donaldson bequeathed all of his wealth to build and found a hospital for children after his death.

It was designed by renowned architect William Henry Playfair, whose other famous works include the National Monument and the National Gallery of Scotland.

City & Country sales and marketing director Suzanne Aplin said: “The Playfair apartments at Donaldson’s have many historic and stylish features such as original Gothic style windows, generous ceiling heights, original woodwork panelling and historic cornices, alongside contemporary features such as sleek kitchens, luxurious bathrooms and an interior design scheme created to maximise the beauty of each apartment.

“Our clever use of space throughout the building makes the best use of the historic fabric, creating many unique living spaces ranging from studios, mezzanine apartments, split-level, loft and penthouse accommodation in a wide 
variety of sizes.”

Studio and one bedroom apartments start from £250,000, with two bedrooms priced at £450,000 and three bedrooms starting from £750,000.

Rettie and Co’s Nick Watson believes the building’s important role in the city’s history and quality finishes make it a unique opportunity for Edinburgh house-hunters. He added: “To own a property at Donaldson’s will be a truly unique experience. The outstanding features of the building have been enhanced to the highest possible standard with each apartment carefully and thoughtfully designed to maximise the potential of every space.

“The high quality specification will complement the magnificent building as well as particular attention having been paid to ensuring the common areas are some of the best seen in the city.”