Go-ahead for £50m transformation of Edinburgh’s former Debenhams store

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edinburgh debenhams store

Plans to transform the former Debenhams store on Princes Street in Edinburgh have been given the green light by the City of Edinburgh Council

The former Debenhams store proposals, which repurpose 108,000 sq ft of vacant, obsolete retail space, were described as ‘setting the tone’ for the future regeneration of Edinburgh city centre.

The redevelopment, spanning three separate listed properties at 109 to 112 Princes Street, creates a new hospitality hub and boutique hotel on the famous street.

Plans include a 207-room upscale boutique hotel and publicly accessible restaurant, lounge, spa and rooftop bar.

The scheme will create a new pedestrian link between Princes Street and Rose Street and new shopping, dining, hospitality, leisure and public event space.

The rooftop bar will look directly onto Princes Street Gardens and Edinburgh Castle.

‘Creating urban areas that are fit for purpose’

Bill Hughes, head of real assets for Legal & General Investment Management, said: “The UK needs urban centres that are fit for purpose and support growth.

“We continue to work hard investing in centres and creatively repurposing real estate to ensure the vitality of urban areas that need to evolve.

“Our longterm view and operational strategy mean we can adapt and innovate the Princes Street site to harness the full potential of these historic buildings, ensure they support economic growth and bring the widest possible benefit to the city.”

Nida Rehman, senior development manager for Legal & General Investment Management, added: “We have worked collaboratively with the City of Edinburgh Council to understand their aspirations for the future of Princes Street and create a financially, environmentally and socially sustainable development.

“The scheme will provide an exceptional anchor for the community and deliver best-in-class local services to support the post-Covid recovery.”

The project has ambitions to be one of the most sustainable developments in the city by targeting BREEAM Excellent and a carbon reduction Gold standard.

Construction work is expected to begin in 2022 with the new boutique hotel scheduled to open in 2024.

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