St James Quarter, Edinburgh

APG Strategic Real Estate & Nuveen Real Estate

St James Quarter, Edinburgh is Scotland’s largest and most significant mixed-use development project in a generation. Acting for the Joint Venture investors, Nuveen Real Estate and APG Asset Management, TFT has been appointed as Project Monitoring Surveyor for the entire c£1bn development. The original 1970s shopping centre, car park and former Scottish Government offices were demolished in order to make way for the 1.7msq ft development.

St James Quarter, Edinburgh is scheduled to open to the public in 2021 and will consist of 850,000sq ft of prime retail space with over 85 shops and over 30 restaurants spread across four levels. These will sit alongside the existing John Lewis department store, which remains open throughout the development. The centrepiece of the development will be the iconic W Edinburgh, a 244-room hotel. There will also be a Roomzzz Aparthotel comprising 74 rooms, 152 apartments by Native Land as well as Everyman 5-screen cinema. Car parking will comprise 1,600 parking bays with electrical vehicle charging points incorporated.

A significant aspect of the project is the central steel Rimex feature, which creates the distinctive ribbon effect, wrapping the main W Edinburgh hotel and rising up from the centre.

The project includes pioneering engineering techniques such as supporting the existing John Lewis Department Store on steel trestles in order to replace the existing historic piling: these have been replaced by larger, longer piles necessary to accommodate the three basement levels of the new development.

Our wide-ranging support as Project Monitoring Surveyor includes attending key meetings and site inspections, and monthly reporting to the JV with certified drawdowns.

Neil Wotherspoon, who heads up TFT’s Edinburgh office and is managing the project’s monitoring team said:

As we step into 2021, the project has reached a key stage: the main shell and core works by Laing O’Rourke are nearing completion and the retail and leisure tenants are fitting out and aiming for a spring 2021 opening. The residential fit out development by Native Land has started on site and the tendering process for the fit out of the luxury hotel W Edinburgh has also commenced.

It’s an extremely busy time for everybody involved. Mixed-use developments with a staged completion programme are complicated enough and COVID-19 has certainly magnified those complications. But soon, Edinburgh will boast an amazing development which will be a key asset to both the capital and Scotland and we are immensely proud to be a part of it.

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