IT is a development set to bring a touch of Manhattan to the Capital’s waterfront.
Updated concept designs for a landmark hotel opposite Ocean Terminal shopping centre have been released, amid hopes it will become a magnet for tourists and underpin the wider regeneration of Leith.
Business owners and political figures have praised the concept images, which have also drawn comparisons to the iconic Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue, New York.
The angular glass structure would occupy a site next to an existing office development and close to the Scottish Government’s Victoria Quay headquarters.
Moves to promote the land come after it was previously proposed as the location of a 250-room hotel with conference facilities, a bar and a restaurant.
But a contractual dispute over construction of Edinburgh’s tram line and the credit crunch caused several planned projects in the area to be put on hold.
We hope to attract an internationally recognised hotel operator to the siteChris Dougray
Advisers said a fresh marketing drive had been launched amid soaring levels of interest in Edinburgh’s commercial property market.
And they said they were confident of attracting an “internationally recognised” hotel firm, although any proposal would be subject to planning approval.
Chris Dougray, director at Dougray Smith, which is helping to promote the site, said: “The commercial property market is strong – as strong as it has been since 2006.
“Edinburgh in particular is attracting a lot of interest from developers, investors and end users, such as hotels. There are perhaps 20 unsatisfied hotel requirements for Edinburgh at present.
“The site has the benefit of good transport connections into Edinburgh and overlooks the water. It also has the potential to be developed with height, which can be difficult in central Edinburgh.”
He added: “We hope to attract an internationally recognised hotel operator to the site and have numerous live inquiries already. The prospect of the tram being extended to Leith is of course helpful and we await definitive news with real excitement.”
Local businesses have welcomed the designs.
Mohammed Sajid, owner of Bishop’s Local Store in Constitution Street, said: “I think it looks fantastic.
“It’s just the actual structure of the building – it’s modern and striking. And I think it would benefit the area quite well. That site seems to be the dormant site of the docks. It’s a bit of an eyesore just now.”
Councillor Chas Booth, Green member for Leith, said the marketing drive was a sign of renewed interest in the docks.
“The proposed design is certainly striking and a nautical-themed layout may be appropriate for a site that’s right next to the busy working Port of Leith,” he said.
“I’d be keen to hear local residents’ views on whether they feel this is the right proposal.”