Artisan Agrees Major Hotel Deal to Drive Transformation of Edinburgh’s Historic Old Town Site

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Artisan Real Estate Investors, the international development consortium behind the transformation of Edinburgh’s former Caltongate area, has agreed a major hotel deal with Whitbread PLC.Artisan has submitted detailed plans for much of the commercial and leisure provision for the proposed £150 million development, which seamlessly links the capital’s New Street/East Market Street area and Waverley Station with the historic Royal Mile.

    A deal has now been agreed to bring two Whitbread hotels to the five-acre site. This includes a 127-room Premier Inn and a 130-room Hub by Premier Inn, Whitbread’s innovative new ‘compact’ hotel format which will be the first of its kind outside of London.

    Both hotels will sit next to each other with frontages on to East Market Street and Cranston Street. They are set to form an integral part of the overall development which includes a pedestrian-friendly urban centre mixing open public spaces with independent retailers, restaurants, and leisure offerings – as well as new homes and offices.

    Welcoming the deal, Lukas Nakos, Artisan’s managing director said: “There has been huge interest in the site from hotel operators around the world, and I am pleased that an operator of Whitbread’s stature and pedigree has chosen to significantly invest in the city.

    “High quality hotel provision will be the cornerstone of our development, and it’s great to see how innovative leisure concepts such as the Hub will add vibrancy, excitement and colour to our plans. We will be placing strong emphasis on the quality of design and materials to ensure both hotels reflect their historic Royal Mile setting – as well as ensuring that the wider area benefits from the increased visitor spend.”

    Centred around a new £6.5 million civic square, Artisan’s new development will create around 16,500 sq. metres of high quality grade A office space and 28 new retail businesses, as well as the hotel and leisure space. There are also plans for a new community facility, together with 145 residential units and 40 affordable homes.

    Latest research shows that the completed development will generate an approximate annual turnover for the area of £84 million, contributing some £43 million of Gross Value Added (GVA) to the local economy each year.*

    John Bates, Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants’ Head of Acquisitions for UK & Ireland added: “This is another outstanding deal for Premier Inn. It gives us more than 257 new bedrooms in central Edinburgh and also our first new Hub by Premier Inn outside London.

    “We are now set to have two great Premier Inn products side-by-side in a superb new development in the heart of the Old Town – and close to Waverley Station. It is more exciting growth for us in Scotland and another big result for our customers.”

    Following the submission of detailed planning application by Artisan to the City of Edinburgh Council in August 2013, it is anticipated that, following a January 2014 committee hearing, work on the development could start as soon as mid-2014.

    Colliers International acted on behalf of Artisan Real Estate Investors for the hotel deal.

    Daniel Fountain / 05.01.2014

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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