Plan for west end
New hotel will advise guests to eat elsewhere
Councillors will have to determine if the new building is too high
Plans have been lodged to convert an eyesore office block in Edinburgh’s west end into a hotel that would “actively” encourage guests to spend more time and money with nearby businesses.
Meldrum House, a dated and crumbling HMRC block in Drumsheugh Gardens, would be converted into a 166-bedroom hotel with reception, back of house and a resident’s lounge at ground floor.
But it would not provide any in-house restaurants, bars and cafes or conferencing and gym facilities.
Designs for the 60-year-old building have been submitted by Michael Laird Architects for Cannon Capital Developments.
It was built in the late 1950s on the site of St Andrew’s Free Church but has not aged well.
Old and new: the building is currently cladded
The building, like many from this era, “suffered from neglect and a lack of proper maintenance,” according to the planning application.
“Recently, the concrete cladding began to spall and fall away from the main structure, resulting in the building being overclad with a protective membrane.
“As the office market moves to more upmarket offerings, the building is no longer suitable for office accommodation, either in its current or potentially refurbished form.”
It added: “The most suitable and commercially effective approach for the building’s redevelopment is to refurbish it as a hotel, a use that suits the building’s existing layout and complements the surrounding area.”
Cannon Capital Developments plans community engagement with the West End Community Council, the Drumsheugh Gardens Upkeep Committee, and neighbours.
The hotel brand The Resident is lined up as operator. Rebranded in February from Nadler, it has four hotels in central locations in London -– Soho, Victoria, Kensington, Covent Garden – and one in Liverpool.
A car park with 14 spaces already exists behind the building and is accessible from Melville Street Lane, but no extra spaces are being proposed, although there would be two disabled car parking spaces and 17 cycle parking spaces.