Plans for St James Quarter tenements unveiled

An artist's impression of how the development will look once the modern extension has been added. Picture: contibuted
An artist's impression of how the development will look once the modern extension has been added. Picture: contibuted
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New images have emerged of how old tenements around the planned St James Quarter will be redeveloped into flats, shops and a restaurant.

The artist’s impressions reveal how developers intend to restore entrances to the last remaining corner of the original St James Square, demolished in 1966 to make way for the St James Centre.

The existing building. Picture: contributed

The existing building. Picture: contributed

And they also depict a modern extension that will be added to the B-listed St Andrew’s Hall, containing a restaurant, shops and 20 new homes.

The extension will include office space for staff working at the new shopping district, as well as a security facility.

The entrance to tenements on James Craig Walk – blocked up half a century ago – is also set to be restored with raised tenement stairs recreating the way the buildings would have originally looked.

Martin Perry, development director for TH Henderson Real Estate, said architects working on the project had been directed to protect the “historic character” of the tenements and signalled that more detail on the wider project would soon be unveiled.

Mr Perry said: “Earlier this year, we appointed architectural firm Purcell to progress designs for 27-31 James Craig Walk and St Andrew’s Hall which form part of the Edinburgh St James development site.

“Both of these buildings are Grade B listed and Purcell has been working to safeguard their historical character, whilst ensuring they are suitably aligned with the over-arching look and feel of the development.

“Subject to planning permission and listed building consent from the City of Edinburgh Council, St Andrew’s Hall will be redeveloped to include a three-storey extension which will complement the existing building.

“It will provide office and restaurant space and include a base for support staff as well as a security centre. The planning application for 27-31 James Craig Walk sets out proposals to achieve a sensitive restoration of the building, the creation of 20 new homes and plans for new commercial space that will help increase the overall 
vibrancy of the area.

“A separate application to bring forward some of the detail of the wider St James development will be submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council before Christmas.”

Work on the game-changing £850 million St James Quarter is set to begin in the new year. Developers claim the new complex will create 2300 permanent jobs and inject £25m into Edinburgh’s economy every year.

The site will eventually include three shopping levels featuring exclusive brands not currently found in Edinburgh, as well as 138 luxury flats, an apart-hotel, premium office space and a digital cinema.

The development will be built around at least one five-star hotel development, with the potential for a second to be built at a later date.

Developers claim the site will help revitalise the east end of Princes Street and catapult Edinburgh up the rankings of European shopping destinations.

Standard Life to let all office space in square

STANDARD Life has announced that it will let all the office space being created as part of the 
£75 million redevelopment of St Andrew Square, two years before construction is completed.

The scale of the 108,000sq ft deal makes it the biggest pre-let of office space in Edinburgh for a decade, according to the firm.

Standard Life Investments will occupy the site on a 15-year lease estimated to cost £3,240,000 per year, with 1000 staff expected to move in when building is complete in 2017.

Along with the office space, around 50 per cent of the retail space is also pre-let.

There has been speculation in the property market for months that the company would occupy the building which will also house a flagship store for retailer TK Maxx.

David Stewart, fund manager of the Standard Life Investments Pooled Pension Property Fund, said: “This considerable pre-let reflects the quality of the development and we’re really pleased to have secured a lease for the whole of the office space at such an early stage – before construction has even started.”

Ralph Jones, managing director of St Andrew project partner Peveril Securities, added: “This is good news and a letting of this stature demonstrates the quality of the location and potential of the development.”

Standard Life Investments operates out of 17 countries and ten new international offices have opened or will shortly in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Munich, Milan and Madrid.