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Work starts to transform Edinburgh brewery site

Civic Square at Fountainbridge

Civic Square at New Fountainbridge


Construction work begins today on the long-derelict site of the former Fountain Brewery in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh.

Named New Fountainbridge by its developer Vastint Hospitality, the first phase will comprise 59,554 sq ft of urgently-needed Grade A offices, a 262-room Moxy hotel, café, ground floor work spaces and a restaurant fronting a new civic space. 

This first phase is expected to be complete in the second half of next year and construction of the second phase will start towards the end of this year, subject to planning permission being granted by Edinburgh Council. This will consist of 234 residential apartments and canal-side townhouses, as well as commercial and social enterprise spaces. Of the total 234 apartments, 25% will be affordable housing.

Gijs Vermeulen, project manager for Vastint, said: “This site has remained derelict for nearly 15 years since the brewery closed. Our New Fountainbridge development signals a fresh start for the area and we look forward to delivering a distinctive, urban quarter.”

Contractor McLaughlin & Harvey has been appointed to deliver Phase 1. Agents appointed to work on leasing the commercial space are CuthbertWhite (offices) and Savills (retail/leisure).

Chris Cuthbert from CuthbertWhite said that there is significant, unmet need for new Grade A office space in the city centre, with vacancy rates at an all-time low.

Demand high at King’s Quarter

King's Quarter

Prime site: the new development sits below Edinburgh Castle


Work on King’s Quarter in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, is set to be completed ahead of its late Autumn schedule, and Knight Frank is reporting brisk interest in the mixed use development.

Developer Peveril Securities and Campus Development Management have turned the derelict collection of former municipal buildings in King’s Stables Yard – once a jousting courtyard – into a collection of apartments and student studios.

The agent has sold 28 of the 32 apartments off-plan. Aparthotel operator Staycity has been secured for the 108-bed hotel section of the development, while Empiric Student Property will own and manage the 166 high-quality student studios.

Strong interest is reported in the development’s two commercial units. The 1,259 and 3,359 sq. ft. spaces have planning consent for bar and restaurant purposes.

Student homes plan

Apartments proposed for retail site

Development company S Harrison has submitted plans for a 394-bedroom student block with games area, gym, cinema and laundry on a site close to Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh.

The site is on the corner of Westfield Road and Westfield Avenue and currently home to a vacant retail unit previously occupied by Sterling Furniture, before the company move to Fort Kinnaird Retail Park.

York-based S Harrison is exploring opportunities for a 0.6 hectare site on Ocean Drive in Leith, as well as pursuing planning approval to transform a 1970s office building in the West Coates area, into a new hotel development.

The gross development value of the five current schemes will be approximately £150million and the company is now exploring further opportunities across Scotland’s central belt.

Whisky plan backed

Johnnie Walker Experience

The former department store will become a whisky visitor centre


Planners are backing the proposed transformation of the former House of Fraser store in Edinburgh into a visitor experience for Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker.

A planning application, submitted by Diageo, the brand’s owner, and Parabola, which owns the Princes Street building, will be considered to the development management sub-committee next week.

In a report to councillors, officers said the proposals are “acceptable in principle” and will “sustain and enhance the city centre”.

The report adds: “The proposed development is a prestigious, high-quality, potentially world-wide, visitor/tourist attraction in the city centre which will help to sustain footfall levels in this area, especially given that the new St James development is expected to move the centre of gravity of the city’s retail to the east.

“In addition, the proposal includes an element of retail on the ground floor which also represents a cultural facility given Scotland’s renowned whisky industry.”

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