Work has began to transform a former bus depot in the heart of the Old Town into housing as part of the £200m New Waverley development.
Queensberry Properties Ltd has started construction at Waverley Square, which will form the first residential development as part of the 7.5-acre overhaul between the Royal Mile and Calton Road.
The first of 149 homes, on the eastern side of the public square, are expected to be ready for new residents by the Autumn of 2020.
Waverley Square includes 66 new homes available to buy in a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, mews houses and maisonettes – designed in a quadrangular formation around a central courtyard.
Hazel Davies, sales and marketing director of Queensberry Properties, said: “We are delighted to be underway at this extraordinary development. There are so many superlatives that apply to Waverley Square, however, its unique location is worthy of particular mention.
“Positioned right in the heart of Scotland’s capital city, it gives residents immediate access to an incredible range of things to see and do, most of which are right on their doorstep, including the best of Edinburgh’s famous history and culture. With excellent train, tram and bus links, I have no doubt there will be high demand when we bring these properties to market.”
Architectural practice, Allan Murray Associatess designed the homes using high-quality materials including natural sandstone, timber and metal cladding, brick, render and glass. All have been designed exclusively for the development, with residents also benefiting from 59 underground car parking spaces in the heart of the city centre.
Planning permission for the overall New Waverley development was approved in 2013 and the proposals were amended in 2017.
The development is being built at the former bus depot between New Street and Old Tolbooth Wynd which lay derelict before being razed. Previously, the site was part of a gas works before East Market Street was built.
Work on two hotels at New Waverley, a 127-room Premier Inn and a 121-room Hub by Premier Inn started in November 2014 and were competed in 2016. Two Whitbread hotels and an Adagio Aparthotel overlooking the Royal Mile have also been opened.
In 2017, it was announced that a new UK government regional hub for the city will be opened at the site in 2020. The UK government is taking on approximately 190,000 sq. ft. of office space at New Waverley, moving 2,900 civil service jobs into the Old Town. This will include HMRC, which will run one of its 13 regional centres from New Waverley.
A row of 19 Victorian arches on East Market Street have been transformed into a new artisan-based leisure café and specialised retail district – including a potential new Edinburgh Gin distillery and visitor centre which will attract footfall to the area.