New plans promise restoration boost for key West End site

A proposal to breathe new life into a series of buildings at the point where Edinburgh’s West End and city centre meet has been confirmed with the submission of plans to City of Edinburgh Council by Chris Stewart Group (CSG).

The Queensferry Street development will see a disparate collection of tired and unloved historic buildings carefully restored and thoughtfully enhanced by the team behind such successes as the Advocate’s Close neighbourhood and The Edinburgh Grand hotel.

Following a complex 18-month long acquisition process, led by CSG in a joint venture with Souter Investments, architects 3DReid and engineers Buro-Happold have been appointed to progress a design that delivers a sensitive restoration with innovation and sustainability at the forefront.

The development aims to deliver high quality mixed-use hospitality space for the area, building on the success of nearby regeneration schemes like the Johnnie Walker Experience to help accelerate Edinburgh’s economic performance and drive city centre footfall.

The proposed design reflects CSG’s track record of vision and skill in unlocking neglected city centre sites, harnessing sensitivity and creativity to overcome complex regeneration challenges.

CSG is currently on site with their flagship mixed use regeneration project in the centre of Glasgow, known as Love Loan. Elsewhere, CSG’s previously completed regeneration projects include the award-winning Advocate’s Close development, a complex arrangement of centuries-old buildings in and around the Royal Mile, which are now 74 luxury serviced apartments and a collection of restaurants and bars.

Also in Edinburgh, CSG tackled the derelict former RBS headquarters on St Andrew Square to create The Edinburgh Grand, a multi award-winning hotel and associated bars and restaurants.

Chris Stewart, CEO of Chris Stewart Group commented –

“Having spent almost two years working on the acquisition and vision for these buildings, we’re really pleased to be able to share our plans with the city.

“This prominent corner of Edinburgh city centre is home to a collection of buildings that have been neglected for some time. The designs we are proposing will enable significant physical and economic regeneration of these historic properties, providing them with a sustainable long-term future.

“We’re excited to create another world class development with the potential to bring further local independents and global brands to this part of the city. The development also helps meet the council’s – and our own – net zero ambitions by making effective use of existing historic buildings.”

Calum Cusiter, co-Managing Director of Souter Investments commented –

“The potential for these buildings in this location should be obvious to anyone who takes the time to stop and look. What is not so obvious, and certainly isn’t easy, is having the vision, drive and skillset to piece together such a difficult jigsaw and develop something that promises to be truly exciting.

“We’ve been speaking to Chris and his team for a number of years, having been impressed with the quality and success of their previous developments, and are delighted to be their joint venture partner on this project.”

CSG is working with Turley Heritage and Scott Hobbs Planning to progress the scheme.