Princes St Hotel, Deramore Property Group Edinburgh, Building

Princes St Hotel, Edinburgh : Development

Princes St Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

Princes Street Hotel Building

DERAMORE PROPERTY, PROPOSED REDEVELOPMENT OF
121-123 PRINCES STREET, EDINBURGH

The Deramore Property Group has submitted a planning application to redevelop 121-123 Princes Street, transforming these buildings into an exciting new retail space and high quality hotel accommodation on the upper floors.

The site for this development is easily recognisable as it includes the building completely covered by scaffolding which, owing to the dilapidated state of the stonework, has been an ugly but necessary appendage for more than five years now.

Princes Street Hotel Edinburgh
picture from the architect

Commenting on the state of the buildings at 121-123 Princes Street, Darren Lonergan, Deramore Property Group stated, “We are delighted to submit our proposals for bringing much needed new retail and hotel provision to Princes Street and welcome the support received to date from our extensive consultation process.. Unless and until the condition and constraints of this historic and high profile site are fully and imaginatively addressed, Edinburgh will never have her best dress on.

We believe the proposed solution developed by SMC Hugh Martin Architects creates an innovative and fitting tribute to Edinburgh’s heritage and history and takes Princes Street forward by facilitating an attractive and enticing reconnection to the West End.”

In finalising their design proposals, the Deramore Property Group has sought to address the site’s context, history and heritage and physical condition in order to create an innovative solution that is both respectful and provides a positive, modern addition to Princes Street.

Deramore is clearly demonstrating their commitment to the high quality of design which Princes Street is worthy of, delivering a dynamic scheme which will guarantee a vastly improved retail offering, attracting shoppers towards the West End, plus an exciting new hotel destination at the very heart of Princes Street.

The City of Edinburgh Council has adopted a concept known as the “String of Pearls” as part of its long term vision for the regeneration of Princes Street.

Cameron Walker, Managing Director of SMC Hugh Martin Architects said, “The design provides a dynamic new image for this section of Princes Street, with a lively mixture of quality retail and hotel, revitalising the world class reputation of this unique setting.

Princes Street Hotel Edinburgh
picture from the architect

We are delighted to be initiating the City’s “String of Pearls” concept with this exciting development which will hopefully act as a catalyst to future retail improvements throughout the centre.”

The design principles of the proposals have been successfully implemented in other world class European cities such as Berlin where historic buildings have been treated in a respectful yet modern manner enabling historic buildings to be retained and revitalised, including via the provision of greater permeability, both horizontally and vertically, and incorporating high quality glass treatments. 121-123 Princes Street would, for instance, have the capacity to be illuminated appropriately in accordance with special events and celebrations such as the Edinburgh Festival Fireworks, Capital Christmas, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and charity events like the Moonwalk.

121-123 Princes Street 121-123 Princes Street Hotel 121-123 Princes Street Edinburgh
pictures from the architect

A similar example to be seen in Edinburgh is the Festival Theatre where the front of the original theatre was removed as part of the theatre’s redevelopment and an attractive new glass frontage put in place. This invites the eye towards the theatre where the anticipation and enjoyment of theatre goers and proud friends and families at graduation time is revealed by seeing into all levels within the building.

Deramore’s proposals comprise approximately 27,000 sq ft of new retail space on three floors (basement/ground/first) and a new high quality 103 bedroom hotel on the further upper floors – the bedrooms and bar/restaurant elements of which will offer sensational views over Edinburgh Castle Princes Street Gardens.

The retail space has been pre-let to New Look, who will open a flagship store at this location whilst retaining their store within Princes Mall.

Amanda Herron from New Look said “We are delighted to be adding to our presence in Edinburgh by creating a flagship store on Princes Street. Edinburgh is a highly successful retail destination for New Look and we very much welcome this exciting opportunity to position ourselves at the heart of Scotland’s most unique and best known shopping street.”

Cllr Tom Buchanan, Economic Development spokesperson, City of Edinburgh Council said, “Deramore’s proposals send out a strong signal of investor confidence not only in Edinburgh’s city centre but also in the west end of Princes Street as a retail destination. It is also encouraging that Deramore is committed to investing in high quality design – this will vastly improve upon the current physical amenity of this part of Princes Street and also help set a benchmark for other major development proposals within the city centre.”

The innovative proposals are attracting cross party support and support from Edinburgh’s Convention Bureau:

Cllr Elizabeth Maginnis, Labour’s spokesperson on Economic Development commented, “The building which has been under scaffolding for 5 years is a complete eyesore, blighting the Prince Street landscape so I warmly welcome these exciting plans – the new hotel will enable visitors and Edinburgh residents alike to enjoy the spectacular views over Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street Gardens.”

Whilst the existing consent could deliver the much needed improved retail capacity, Edinburgh also has a target to increase its provision of hotel bed spaces by 5000 rooms by 2015 and it is widely believed that a hotel as opposed to an office, would contribute far more to the long term sustainability and success of Edinburgh as an attractive and internationally competitive city centre.

Sue Stuart, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Convention Bureau said, “Successful business tourism is a vital element of the Edinburgh and Lothian’s economy. We operate in a highly competitive marketplace with more and more cities around the world investing in their infrastructure in order to capitalise on this highly lucrative and fast growing business. Edinburgh must invest in its conference infrastructure if it is to maintain its competitive position in relation to other conference destinations which are increasingly well organised and well resourced.

The hotel which forms part of the proposed development at 121-123 Princes Street is therefore a welcomed addition, as not only will it augment the city’s existing bed stock but it will also provide a high quality meeting venue for the discerning business tourist.”




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