Conversion of Debenhams Princes Street granted

Conversion of Debenhams Princes Street granted

Princes Street [Credit: Legal & General]

UK: Planning permission has been granted for a £50 million regeneration of the former Debenhams store on Princes Street in Edinburgh into a boutique hotel.

Redevelopment plans include the creation of a 207-room upscale hotel and publicly assessable restaurant, lounge, spa and rooftop bar. It is scheduled to open in 2024.

Construction work is expected to begin in 2022. Planning consultant Montagu Evans, project manager Gardiner & Theobald, architect ICA, and townscape and heritage advisor Turley will work on the scheme. 

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

Legal & General, which owns the three separate listed properties at 109 and 112 Princes Street, welcomed the decision.

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 long-term 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 buildings were once home to Edinburgh’s Conservative and Liberal Party Clubs. They were built in 1869 and then developed into a department store in 1978.

Proposals for the development were first submitted in July 2020.

Legal & General is a UK-based financial services group and global investor, with international businesses in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. It has almost £1.3 trillion in total assets under management, as at 31 December 2020.

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