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Shops ready at Easter

St James Quarter confirms delayed opening date

Slowly unwrapped: The distinctive W Hotel at St James

Edinburgh’s new St James Quarter expects to welcome its first shoppers next Easter, following a six month delay due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Despite the downturn it remains confident of letting the 80 shop units which will be complemented by a 244-bedroom W hotel with its distinctive “ribbon” exterior – due to open in 2022 – and a 75-room Roomzzz Aparthotel.

Daily Business revealed earlier this year that St James would not meet its planned opening date in October when it had hoped to welcome Christmas shoppers.

Martin Perry, director of development for the project said the cost of that is “not completely quantifiable” though it will run into “many millions of pounds”.

“There are some additional construction costs,” he said. “And if you delay a project of this sort for six months you’ve lost six months’ worth of income from rents, etc, lost six months of turnover and you have to pay your whole team’s salaries for an extra six months – but everyone is in the same boat.

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“We have about 74% of spaces contracted with seven months to go until opening. We’re fairly confident we’ll get the remaining space contracted before then.”

The only trader which will not take up its unit is the restaurant chain Yo Sushi, which ran into financial trouble during lockdown.

Newly-released details reveal that the third level of the development’s underground car park has been designed with theatre lighting and sound to accommodate shows.

There will be nine event spaces set to host a variety of pop-up fashion and music shows. An events programme is being created for next year’s festival time, with up to 27 shows a day.

A five-screen Everyman Cinema will offer conference facilities as well as films.

There will be 152 apartments, ranging from studio to three-bedroom, with a shared garden room and full concierge service.

The £1 billion development can accommodate 30 restaurants but the market will be watching how this works out in view of the squeeze on hospitality.

Last month it was announced the development would have the first Bonnie & Wild Scottish food hall, a 16,600 sq ft space billed as the largest single food and beverage site in Scotland.

As well as featuring a wide range of Scottish produce, it will offer visitors a taste of life on a Highland estate with a virtual stalking and grouse shooting experience.

Confirmed tenants

Lego Store – toy giant

Joe Browns – fashion brand

The Body Shop

Rituals – luxury cosmetics.

H&M – Swedish clothing brand

Pull & Bear – Spanish clothing and accessories

Hackett – British menswear retailer

Halifax Bank of Scotland

New Look – British fashion retailer

The Perfume Shop – perfumes

Sunglass Hut – sunglasses

Hotel Chocolat – luxury chocolate.

Goldsmiths – luxury jewellery

@pizza – pizzas

Five Guys – American fast food restaurant

Pandora – jewellery

Miele – German home appliances

Next – clothing

Russell & Bromley – footwear and handbags

Breitling and Omega – watches

JD Sports – sports fashion

Mango – clothing

O2 – phones

Boots – health, beauty and pharmaceutical

Superdrug – budget beauty and pharmacy

Stradivarius – clothing The Alchemist – cocktail bar and restaurant

& Other Stories – clothing

Three – phones

Bershka – clothing retailer

Zara – clothing, accessories, shoes,

Bonnie & Wild – food hall

Tommy Hilfiger – clothing

Calvin Klein – clothing

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