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One of biggest transactions of year

Office deal sees university buy RBS buildings

CornerstoneOne of the biggest office deals of the year has seen Edinburgh Napier University acquire three former Royal Bank of Scotland buildings in South Gyle Crescent in the west of the city.  The purchase price was not disclosed.

The premises, alongside two neighbouring properties owned by the university, will give it options for future development.

The newly-acquired offices, totalling 9,964 sq m (107,255 sq ft), are Forthstone, Broadstone and Cornerstone.

The bank vacated Forthstone at the end of last year and Broadstone over a year ago.  The third building, known as the Cornerstone Building, was previously being marketed by Ryden.  The top floor is occupied by Blyth & Blyth.

Ryden with Lewis and Partners has let the buildings on behalf of PDPF GP.

Partner at Ryden Peter I’Anson said: “This is a significant transaction for Edinburgh in terms of expansion for one of the city’s universities and also the major impact it has on the availability of quality offices in west Edinburgh.

It follows lettings to Orgio Services at 7 Lochside View (10,971 sq ft), HSBC at 6 Lochside Avenue (38,000 sq ft) and the purchase of 85,000 sq ft by JP Morgan.

“The erosion of space is fairly evident with only limited options of suitable quality remaining within The Gyle or Edinburgh Park. With no proposed speculative development within Edinburgh Park, pressure will now focus on new development at International Business Gateway.”

Gerry Webber, secretary at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “We need to support our academic ambitions through the continued development of our estate, and we have been actively exploring options to address this for some time.

“Space is at a premium across most of our campuses and this purchase provides us with flexibility.”

Cameron Stott, director for office agency JLL, which acted on behalf of Napier, added: “This is a key strategic and astute acquisition by Edinburgh Napier University not only providing future options for expansion but also by acquiring the premises the university may also benefit from future growth in capital values.

“West Edinburgh has seen a significant reduction in availability and the vacancy rate for Edinburgh is now 4.8%, the lowest level since pre-crash in 2008.”

Lawyers Anderson Strathern advised Edinburgh Napier University, while Maclay Murray & Spens advised fund PDPF GP.



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