Edinburgh gives green light to first St James development phase

Edinburgh St James external entrance view2The City of Edinburgh Council has granted planning permission for the first part of the £850 million Edinburgh St James development site.

The council has approved plans to convert and make alterations to B-Listed St Andrew’s Hall, which will be “sensitively converted” to include a three-storey extension, which “will complement the existing building”.

St Andrew’s Hall is being converted to provide office and restaurant space, a base for the shopping centre management, training facilities and a security centre.

In addition, the council’s planning committee confirmed it was ‘minded to grant’ proposals for 27-31 James Craig Walk, known as the Mansion Capital building, which developer TH Real Estate is set to acquire, subject to the signing of a legal agreement, in 2016.

The proposals for Mansion Capital include conversion for up to 20 new homes and commercial space on the lower floors.

TH Real Estate said: “The sensitive restoration of the building’s exterior will ensure that the design reflects the original vision for James Craig Walk, and will relate to the wider Edinburgh St James redevelopment.”

TH Real Estate, created from the 2014 merger of Henderson Global Investors’ real estate business and TIAA-CREF, is leading the retail-led Edinburgh St James regeneration development.

The developer said its appointed architects Purcell were instructed to safeguard the “historical character” of the buildings, whilst “ensuring the buildings are suitably aligned with the overarching look and feel of the £850 million development”.

The 1.7 million sq ft Edinburgh St James scheme will see the 1970s shopping centre currently on site replaced with a new 750,000 sq ft retail centre, luxury hotel, up to 250 new homes, restaurants and a multi-screen cinema.

Martin Perry, director of development at TH Real Estate, said: “The City of Edinburgh Council’s decision marks an important milestone for the Edinburgh St James development.

“Careful and thoughtful consideration was given to the design for both buildings, and we are pleased the council has recognised and supported our vision for how they complement the wider development.”

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