Edinburgh Jenners refit set to start as fences go up around iconic building

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The next phase of work will start before the summer.

Major work will start 'within months' to restore the iconic former Jenners building on Princes Street.

Fences have appeared around the building which was gutted by a blaze in January 2023, claiming the life of hero firefighter Barry Martin.

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A five-year restoration project is underway to breathe life back into the grade-A listed building, after it was bought by Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, who is reportedly worth £4.5 billion.

Plans to turn it into a hotel, cafes and rooftop restaurant and bar were green-lighted in 2022. Some works have already been completed inside the building which is expected to reopen next year.

Now work is set to move to the next phase for the anticipated new development, which will include more than 10,000 square metres of hotel space, 7,000 square metres of retail space along with cafes and restaurants.

Property consultants working on the project told the Evening News that a contractor has been appointed and enabling works are expected to start in the coming months 'roughly by the summer.

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It's hoped the move could help to revive Princes Street which has struggled for an identity in recent years as its pulling power as a shopping destination has dwindled.

Fences have gone up around the iconic Jenners building.Fences have gone up around the iconic Jenners building.
Fences have gone up around the iconic Jenners building. | EEN

Project manager Anders Krogh previously said the plans for the Jenners building will aim to create the "best possible framework for future users".

He said: "The project is first and foremost about helping to preserve a unique historic building in Edinburgh. Already when we acquired the building, we knew that it came with a great deal of responsibility. Jenners is an iconic building in Edinburgh, and we take the responsibility of renovating it very seriously."

The vision on the Jenners website states: "The vision for the Jenners Edinburgh building is to preserve the historic features and fabric whilst at the same time safeguarding its future by creating commercially viable uses. The development recognises the significance and tradition of the Jenners building, and the department store element remains key to the project.

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"With its convenient location and grand nature, the building is also well placed to accommodate a high-end hotel with a restaurant and bar. The hotel’s circa. one hundred rooms will be on the upper floors with outlooks over Princes Street, South St. David Street and Rose Street.

"Restaurants and cafes are proposed around the Grand Saloon on the second floor – providing food and beverage provision for both the retail and hotel offerings. A new bar is proposed within the top floor of the hotel, occupying the new floor and corner turret facing St Andrew Square.

"The proposal will re-establish the architectural quality of the original building, with the sensitive restoration of important surviving features, the reinstatement of lost original elements and the careful insertion of new infrastructure.

Anders Krogh has been contacted for comment.

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