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First letting at key development

Baillie Gifford signs up for head office at Haymarket

Crystal palace: the vast new glass offices at Haymarket (seen from Morrison Street)

Fund manager Baillie Gifford has signed up as the first pre-let at the long-delayed Haymarket development in Edinburgh, taking 280,000 sq ft for its new head office.

It is the first pre-let for M&G Real Estate and its property developer partner Qmile Group at the £350 million development.

Baillie Gifford has agreed to take the Grade A accommodation on a 20-year lease and will relocate its 1,200 staff in the city in the latter half of 2023.

The development, being built on a former rail yard that was derelict for half a century, is now proceeding after long delays and changes of ownership. It was latterly used as a car park until a plan was finally agreed last year.

Baillie Gifford had originally intended taking offices in the new building at the Registers off St Andrew Square in addition to its Leith Street head office.

Model-of-Haymarket

Model of the development with Haymarket pub at junction. The lower level new building is earmarked for a hotel and training academy

Commenting on the relocation, Baillie Gifford’s joint senior partner, Andrew Telfer, said: “This new office is a significant long-term investment for Baillie Gifford, demonstrating our confidence in the future.

“It will bring all our Edinburgh colleagues under one roof again, in a more flexible and dynamic working environment. This will help to support our staff and clients around the world, whilst providing space for further growth.”

Designed by architect Foster + Partners, Haymarket Edinburgh will provide more than 380,000 sq ft of Grade A office space with Baillie Gifford’s accommodation located within a seven-storey building that will tower over historic neighbouring property.

Securing Baillie Gifford as Haymarket Edinburgh’s first office occupier shows the continued confidence in Edinburgh’s commercial property market

– Paul Curran, QMile Group

The development will also have a landscaped public realm at its heart for the benefit of both the city centre and local community, offering leisure, retail, accommodation and events space.

Martin Towns, head of UK Commercial at M&G Real Estate, adds: “As one of the world’s largest commercial property investors with significant capital at our disposal, we are ideally placed to acquire and regenerate a project of this scale.

“Our environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials and expertise will ensure this site is transformed into a new, world class public realm for the local community and sustainable office space for the most exacting modern occupiers.

Haymarket

Public space is included in the development

“For our customers and clients, this development represents a key asset with potential for sustained income and strong capital appreciation in a targeted growth zone.”

Paul Curran, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Qmile Group, said: “Securing Baillie Gifford as Haymarket Edinburgh’s first office occupier shows the continued confidence in Edinburgh’s commercial property market, and in high quality, well-designed workplaces.

“Haymarket Edinburgh is without doubt a high profile development and represents the total regeneration of a site which has been derelict for more than 52 years.

“To attract an occupier of the size and stature of Baillie Gifford at such an early stage in the development of the site is hugely exciting. We look forward to working closely with the Baillie Gifford team to deliver their new head office.

“Construction work has restarted at Haymarket Edinburgh in line with Scottish Government guidelines and the development is progressing well.

“We are on our way to making our vision for Haymarket Edinburgh a reality by delivering a place designed to be inclusive for the benefit of both the local community where it is being built and city’s business community.”

M&G Real Estate, Qmile Group and Fosters + Partners have all previously successfully worked together on Edinburgh city centre’s £750 million Quartermile mixed-use development.

M&G Real Estate and Qmile Group were advised on the agreement by property consultancies JLL and Savills, whilst Ryden acted on behalf of Baillie Gifford.

Comment: Haymarket deal offers hope in an uncertain office sector

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