2 Semple Street to be Edinburgh’s only Grade A spec office project ready for 2018

The delivery of the only speculative office development in Edinburgh which is due to complete next year should help alleviate the Capital’s chronic shortage of Grade A office accommodation.

GSS Developments said 2 Semple Street, located in the city’s Exchange District, has the framework in place and work on installing the elevations will start in the next few weeks, with a final completion date scheduled for July 2018.

Other office projects which are about to start or are underway in Edinburgh are expected to have 2019 and 2020 completion dates, while 2 Semple Street will be the only speculative development to be ready for occupation in 2018.

The 38,648 sq ft office development will accommodate up to 400 employees over five floors, and with view to Edinburgh Castle, it is situated in a prime location in the popular business Exchange District.

Angela Lowe, senior director at joint letting agent CBRE, said: “The office market in Edinburgh has had a record year with take-up topping 1 million sq ft over the last 12 months for the first time since 2004, which is 25% ahead of the long-term average. Grade A availability is down more than 60% on the same quarter as 2016 and the prospects for tenants seeking space over the next 24 months are not good, so it is encouraging that 2 Semple Street will be ready and available in mid-2018.”

Chris Cuthbert of joint letting agent CuthbertWhite added: “The floor plate size and configuration at 2 Semple Street is such that we are speaking to a number of occupiers considering anything from a single floor (7,244 sq ft) to the entire building. On a recent walk round the development we were hugely impressed by how the building is taking shape, and we are now in the position of being able to provide interested parties with a full ‘hard hat’ tour of the development.”

McLaughlin & Harvey Construction managing director, Paul Griffen, said: “Working closely with GSS Developments and our design and supply chain partners from the onset has been key to this project. The in-situ concrete cores, structural steel frame and concrete floors have been completed and the emphasis now is on commencing the envelope which sees the combination of glass, natural stone, brickwork and cladding all come together to create this impressive development.

“The logistics and congested nature of city centre developments present their own challenges, particularly in material distribution, and again we have been working with our suppliers to maximise their requirements to ensure that progress on all elevations is maintained.”

GSS Developments director Paul Stevenson, said: “Other types of developments with less risk are being favoured by funders, which means speculative office projects in Edinburgh are few and far between. While supply of Grade A offices remains very tight, conversely there has never been more demand, and so we are keen to bring 2 Semple Street to market as quickly as possible.”