New retail scheme
£500m ‘urban quarter’ plan for Gyle shopping mall
The Gyle is seeking to expand its appeal
A scheme to re-model one of Scotland’s biggest shopping malls would see it introduce residential apartments as part of the new retail environment.
Bankfoot APAM has unveiled an ambitious £500 million plan to turn Edinburgh’s Gyle shopping centre into an “urban quarter”.
It would encourage anchor tenants such as Marks & Spencer and Next to introduce concept stores while a new pedestrianised “high street” with flats and offices above a row of shops would link the centre to the nearby tram stop.
The proposal would introduce a residential and non-retail business community to the indoor mall which has seen a number of operators, such as the Disney store, leave as a result of the squeeze on the sector and changing shopping habits.
Chris Moore, the managing director at Bankfoot APAM, told the Evening News: “When the Gyle was built it was a leading modern shopping destination. However, we are now looking at a new normal that is very different for shopping and living.
“The creation of a new urban city district will help transform the visitor experience and bring many more new residents, workers and customers to the shops and facilities.
“Increasingly people will travel by public transport and the facilities need to reflect that new normal.
“We have seen the changes that the new St James development in the city centre is making to people’s shopping experience and our aim is to deliver better and higher quality shopping, rather than just increasing floorspace.
“We have also studied the quality of the proposals for new homes and offices at the nearby Edinburgh Park.
“Edinburgh is changing, and west Edinburgh is changing faster than almost anywhere in Scotland and our plans must reflect sustainability issues and respond positively to those changes.
“Looking ahead we should consider how best to serve our customers and meet their growing concerns about the environment. A more balanced community is what is proving to work best.”
Mr Moore added: “We will be consulting local residents and communities on our new vision in the near future, and we look forward to starting the regeneration and revitalisation of The Gyle in a way that makes it an even more special place for many more people.”
Development options are to be presented to the public as part of a consultation.
Previous owners had brought forward plans for small extensions for new retail units and a cinema, but these were rejected.