SHOPS selling laser artworks and luxury football gear will become the first to move into a newly renovated row of Victorian arches in the heart of the Old Town.
The C-listed arches under Jeffrey Street have been revamped as part of the wider, controversial £150 million New Waverley development, which aims to create a “vibrant new quarter” of the Capital.
Uncover Lab, the first store of its kind in the UK, will use advanced laser printing to create elaborate designs on personal belongings – from top-of-the-range iPhones to clothes, tablets and wooden signs.
Meanwhile, 6 Yard Box promises to merge a love of football with high-end designer fashion and merchandising, offering everything from retro shirts to cashmere scarves inspired by club colours.
Both stores will open early in the new year, with the 13 other businesses set to take over the rest of the row’s units also due be announced then. Developers said all 15 shops would be up and running within months.
Steven Dow – who also launched the successful Football Nation store on Lothian Road – vowed his new shop would sell “beautiful products inspired by the beautiful game”.
He said: “We are meeting a growing demand for ‘designer’ football – high-quality fashions and products that are inspired by the beautiful game and are at the cutting-edge of design, but [which are] not linked to traditional club badges or merchandising.
“The Waverley Arches is the perfect location. We want this to be a flagship store heralding more openings across the UK, and we couldn’t have launched anywhere else.
“We are not a typical high-street product so we needed a location which defined what we do – edgy, independent and groundbreaking. The Waverley Arches provide all of that.”
6 Yard Box will also sell quirky football products such as Subbuteo-branded kitchen merchandise, mugs, pictures, games and other memorabilia.
Uncover Lab, meanwhile, will use cutting-edge laser technology to imprint complicated designs on personal objects.
Owners Stephen Gorman and Liam Lapping said the idea was spawned after watching an artist using similar techniques during a trip to Amsterdam.
Mr Gorman said: “Uncover Lab is unlike anything the UK has seen. We have brought together a team of artists and designers to push the boundaries of personalised design. Armed with specially designed etching technology, we can transform just about any object you own into an eye-catching art piece, either using your own design or one of ours.
“Laptops, iPhones, chargers, phone cases, tablets, tablet stands, laptop bags can all be transformed into your personal brand or one designed just for you. We also attack designer clothes, jeans or even Moleskin diaries. Everything you own can feature your own personalised art form.”
Led by South African firm Artisan Real Estate, the New Waverley scheme grew out of the failed Caltongate development, which collapsed into administration in 2009.
Plans include a 146-apartment Adagio Aparthotel facing on to the Royal Mile, as well as a new £6.5m public square.
But critics have condemned the proposals as a “massive, stale, sterile modernist confection of concrete”.