Construction expected to start next year after new funding deal gives ong-delayed scheme a boost
The £850m St James Quarter commercial development in Edinburgh received a boost this week after the agreement of a funding deal to unlock the long-delayed regeneration scheme.
The deal between Edinburgh council, the Scottish government and developer TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate), will see £61m raised to improve local infrastructure around the scheme through a new funding model, called the Regeneration Accelerator Model, which will enable a combination of public and private sector investment in local infrastructure and public space that can then be offset by business rates and overall gains to the economy.
The funding will unlock the development, which has outline planning permission for high-quality retail space, grade A office space, a five-star hotel, a four-star hotel, an apart-hotel, a digital theatre, restaurants and residential units.
New retail, hospitality and construction skills academies will also help provide extra support for those seeking employment such as school leavers.
The development has been masterplanned by BDP and Allan Murray Architects but was placed on hold in 2012.
Construction work is expected to start in 2015.
Martin Perry, director of development, TH Real Estate, said: “Our aspirations for the St James Quarter have been well known for some time now and to have secured this funding support is a key milestone for this exciting project, demonstrating confidence in Edinburgh as a leading European city.
“We have worked very closely with the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government to realise this vision and we appreciate their support and assistance.
“This scale of investment is unprecedented in central Edinburgh and will transform the city’s retail offer, putting it on the international ‘map’ of major shopping destinations. We are now looking forward to delivering other key milestones in order for construction to start.”