Building of 'new urban neighbourhood' on Fountainbridge brewery site gets underway

Artist impression of the hotelArtist impression of the hotel
Artist impression of the hotel
Builders have broken ground at the former Fountain Brewery in Fountainbridge as construction starts on the new Moxy hotel.

Named “New Fountainbridge”, it is the first phase of the Vastint Hospitality development which, when complete will also include a 59,554 sq ft office block, a café, ground floor work spaces and a restaurant on new public space adjacent to the Leamington Lift Bridge.

Developers say it will create “a lively, new urban neighbourhood close to the city centre, that balances work, living and leisure activities”.

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“Our New Fountainbridge development signals a fresh start for the area and we look forward to delivering a distinctive, urban quarter in Edinburgh where local people and visitors will be able to enjoy living, working and socialising.”

It is the second hotel in the city, following the opening of a Moxy at the airport in January.

This first phase of the development, approved in June lat year, is expected to be complete in the second half of 2020 and construction of the second phase will start towards the end of this year, subject to planning consideration by Edinburgh City Council.

It will consist of 234 residential flats – 25 per cent of which will be affordable housing – and canal-side townhouses, as well as commercial and social enterprise spaces.

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Vastint acquired the plot in 2016, Vastint worked closely with the City of Edinburgh Council on the proposals for the site. The contractor McLaughlin & Harvey has been appointed to deliver Phase 1.

Chris Cuthbert from Cuthbert White said that there is significant, unmet need for new Grade A office space in the city centre, with vacancy rates at an all-time low.

He added: “The office development within New Fountainbridge, alongside The Exchange, has been designed with the occupiers in mind, offering multi-divisible 10,000 sq ft floor plates and superb staff amenities.

“We are very excited about the long-awaited transformation of this area and anticipate strong demand for the product”.

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Recent developments in Fountainbridge and the canal area have seen the building of the new Boroughmuir High School, the refurbishment of the Edinburgh Printmakers in the former rubber factory, the Hampton by Hilton Hotel and swathes of student housing.

This included a decision by the Scottish Government last year to overturn Edinburgh council’s refusal for 216 bedroom student accommodation on Dundee Street.

The controversial plans saw residents rail against the decision which they said it will cause “over-concentration of students in Fountainbridge due to the sheer size and mass of the building in a relatively tiny site, having major ramifications for residents”.