Hotel plans for listed Edinburgh building

Buchan House
Buchan House

Plans to transform one of St Andrew Square’s most prominent and historic buildings into a 72-bedroom hotel have been submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council.

The proposals for Grade A-listed Buchan House in St Andrew Square have been unveiled by developers S Harrison and also include restaurant and bar areas.

Buchan House consists of several buildings that cover approximately 44,000 square feet on the north-west corner of St Andrew Square, where it meets North St David Street.

The main part of the building was built in 1775 as five houses by renowned architect and builder John Young, who was the first tradesman to build in Edinburgh’s New Town and became a hugely influential figure within the city’s building industry.

More recently it was used as offices by computer giant IBM, which took occupation in 1974. The building has stood empty in recent years and it now forms part of Edinburgh’s New Town Conservation Area and also the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

If the planning application is successful, work could start in early 2018 and would take approximately 15 months to complete. The hotel would be owned and operated by one of the UK’s leading hotel brands.

Development director from S Harrison, David Clancy, said: “Buchan House is steeped in history and was home to a wide range of eminent Edinburgh individuals, ranging from politicians, Lords and business leaders, during its time as a residential address. It also has a rich architectural heritage that is synonymous with the era it was built, and there’s no doubt it could make a truly magnificent hotel.

“Our proposed scheme is designed to reflect the heritage of Buchan House and its location on one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious and important squares. It will also complement all of the other work taking place on and around St Andrew Square, which will continue to attract business and leisure travellers from across the world into this part of the city. So all of this combines to make it a really exciting time for Edinburgh as a whole.”

Other high-profile development work currently underway on St Andrew Square include the transformation of the Mint Building into a major new office and leisure scheme. Work also recently completed on Standard Life’s joint venture with Peveril Securities, which offers 165,000 square feet of retail, leisure and residential space. The developers recently agreed a 25 year lease with the restaurant group behind The Ivy in London, which will soon open its first Scottish eatery known as ‘The Ivy on The Square’.

Last year S Harrison completed work on another prominent Edinburgh development when it transformed a site on Leith Walk, that was formerly part of Edinburgh’s original Botanic Gardens, into a £23 million, 240 bedroom, student accommodation scheme.

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