A project ten years in the making.
In 2006 Henderson Global Investors (now Nuveen Real Estate) purchased the St James Shopping Centre and New St Andrews House (the offices above), bringing both assets under single ownership for the first time. Culverwell was delighted to be appointed to provide strategic development and design guidance as well as letting, acquisition and asset management advice.
Nuveen Real Estate’s detailed design creates a world-class five-storey multi-purpose shopping centre, with the retail levels anchored by John Lewis; restaurants, boutique cinema and residential together with three further levels of car parking sitting directly beneath the Centre. In total the new building will provide 1.7m sq ft of accommodation, of which 750,000 sq ft will be retail and will link to Multrees Walk which offers a further 250,000 sq ft of retail anchored by Harvey Nichols. This replaces the great 'carbuncle' of the city centre, known as such for its 1960s brutalist architecture.
The design comprises three curved prime malls running between Princes Street and Multrees Walk, with fourth and fifth levels for restaurants and a cinema. The upper retail mall units benefit from double-height shop fronts, and all shop units have been designed throughout to meet tenants’ specific requirements. Culverwell has advised on tenant mix as well as unit design and will be jointly letting six MSUs along with over 80 shops and 35 cafés/restaurants.
1msq ft of shopping
In 2014 detailed planning permission was granted for the new Centre and Culverwell was instructed to enter into negotiations with existing tenants to secure vacant possession for the commencement of the development in 2016. A new streamlined John Lewis was designed and is to be refurbished and remain in situ as the Edinburgh St James main anchor. John Lewis is to remain open for business during construction with access provided from Leith Street. Culverwell carried out negotiations to remove all other occupiers prior to closure of the Centre, albeit a number of the tenants are taking new leases in the redeveloped Edinburgh St James.
A successful Public Inquiry was held and a Compulsory Purchase Order obtained to deal with the 10% of interests that could not be dealt with by Private Treaty.
Edinburgh St James will be one of the best prime covered shopping malls in the UK and is desperately required by the capital city to meet shopper and tourist needs. Culverwell is honoured to be part of the team that will create an unparalleled retail and multi-use building.
Alex has worked with a large number of retailers, property companies, institutions and REITs, notably recently with Landsec and TH Real Estate in Buchanan Galleries and in Glasgow and Edinburgh along with numerous acquisitions and different cases for Next.