Deal sealed for ‘eyesore’ former city tax office
Before and after: Meldrum House
Mactaggart Family & Partners is preparing to transform an “eyesore” former tax office in Edinburgh into a 166-bedroom hotel.
The company has exchanged contracts on the building and is due to open The Resident Edinburgh in 2024 following a makeover of the 1960s Meldrum House in Drumsheugh Gardens in the west end.
MF&P acquired the building from the development arm of Mapeley. The property will take the group’s UK portfolio of hotels to six.
The feuhold site was developed as the Edinburgh headquarters of the government tax office but its dated appearance has made it an unpopular intrusion amid the historic elegance of its neighbours.
The application to convert the building, submitted last year, noted that “the concrete cladding began to spall and fall away from the main structure, resulting in the building being overclad with a protective membrane.
Makeover: the building will be transformed
“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.”
The new hotel is designed by Scottish architecture practice Michael Laird and Associates, which was appointed by the vendor Mapeley/Cannon Capital. Planning permission was secured in November last year and the transaction represents the conclusion of Mapeley/Cannon Capital’s strategy to repurpose what many in the city have come to regard as an eyesore.
Resident Hotels will operate The Resident Edinburgh under a management contract, marking its first launch since The Resident Covent Garden, which opened in February 2019.
The Resident brand encourages guests to explore the neighbourhoods in which it is situated and with this latest opening, will be partnering with local bars and restaurants.
The hotel offers guests table service in its lounge, as well as in-room service, giving guests the choice on where and when they eat.
William Laxton, CIO of MF&P, said: “Edinburgh – and this micro location within it – is perfect for The Resident guest product and operating model and we are thrilled to be bringing our amazing team to this world class capital city.
“The acquisition and development adds to our momentum, having rebranded the group in early 2020 and achieved exceptional guest feedback through TripAdvisor.
“The transaction also demonstrates our belief in the operating model, at a time we begin the implementation of our ambitions to grow Resident Hotels as an operator of third party owned hotels.”
David Orr, CEO, Resident Hotels, who is from Edinburgh and has been responsible for creating more than 3,000 hotel rooms across the UK and Europe, said: “Edinburgh is perfect for The Resident brand, being rich in arts and culture, education and entrepreneurial businesses attracting a wide range of both domestic and international visitors, eager to immerse themselves in the city.
“We want people to stay in genuinely interesting places and we hope that by creating welcoming, well-designed hotels with highly-engaged team who know their neighbourhoods, we can play a role in those communities while creating a wonderful guest experience.”
Resident Hotels currently offers 379 rooms across five city-centre hotels. As well as further owned and operated hotels, this transaction comes in a phase of expansion which includes plans to grow rooms under management via management contracts, with a total target of 1,500 to 2,000 rooms over the next seven years.
Cannon Capital was advised by JLL.