Legal and General has announced it is investing £50m into the development of a hotel, spa and Sky Bar ‘hub’ in the centre of Edinburgh.
The “major” regeneration project is set to take place in Princes Street, at a site which is currently occupied by Debenhams. The retailer is expected to move out of the location, owned by Legal and General, in a bid to make way for the new development.
The Upper Upscale Hotel will reflect the “energy, culture and history” of Edinburgh, while the larger development scheme will target ‘BREEAM’ Excellent status and use both local resourcing and employment.
Pre-application consultation proposals are set to be submitted before the end of July, with an online public consultation taking place regarding the development.
A planning application will follow the consultation, while the opening of the development will “depend on the timescale” for any planning approval.
According to Legal and General, the new development will look to create a “major new destination” in the city, in a bid to boost footfall in the area.
The group said it is “committed to reshaping the urban landscape by recycling hard-earned UK savings and pensions into real assets which promote job creation and can support cities’ post-Covid economic bounce back”.
Matt Jarvis, senior fund manager at Legal and General, said: “As normality begins to return around the world, it has never been more important that we support the UK’s cities in continuing to adapt, change and innovate; supporting their economic recovery and continuing to promote them as attractive places to live, work and visit.
“Our vision for Princes Street will do just that, whilst securing these important buildings as a vibrant hub in the centre of one of the world’s great cities.”
He added: “With some of the best views anywhere, looking directly on to Princes Street Gardens and Edinburgh Castle, our aim is to create a space which all Edinburgh and Scottish residents can enjoy, whilst continuing to attract quality tourism to the city.
“For the L&G UK Property Fund, this represents an exceptional opportunity, in line with its strategy to diversify into more operational and alternative assets, and offering a platform to drive forward value for investors.”
Cammy Day, deputy leader at Edinburgh City Council, said: “Legal & General’s project promises to inject a huge amount of investment in our City and create brand new jobs at a time when we need it most.
“In many parts of the world, development is stalling as a result of the pandemic. That’s not the case in Edinburgh.”
She added: “It’s clear that companies remain confident in the enduring appeal of Scotland’s Capital as an attractive place to invest and this news should be viewed as a real confidence boost in our economy.
“Subject to planning, it will convert a prime site with stunning views and help to support the city’s wider recovery from Covid-19 – something all of us will benefit from.”