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Old September 16th, 2013, 04:43 PM   #1
Kenspeckle
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Picardy Place Redesign

Picardy Place hotel bid revived in £850m overhaul

Edinburgh Evening News - 16th September, 2013

Quote:
Ambitious plans to build a hotel on the Picardy Place roundabout have been revived as part of a bid to kick-start the £850 million 
St James Centre overhaul.

Developers have opened fresh talks over buying the site in a move hailed as “a clear signal of economic confidence” returning to the Capital.

A previous bid to create the hotel back in 2009 was scrapped, with the blame put on a downturn in the property market and delays to the tram project.

Henderson Global Investors (HGI), which owns the St James Centre, has now notified city planning chiefs of its intention to revisit the idea.

The city’s Tory economic development spokesman Councillor Jason Rust welcomed the news,saying: “Given the long history of this project, it would be very positive if something was brought to the table.

“Economic conditions are much improved since the plans stalled and this would send a clear signal of economic confidence returning to the city.”

HGI hopes to transform the shopping centre into a St James Quarter, featuring flagship shops, flats, offices, cafes and a public square.

The first step, however, is the re-siting of Thistle Hotels’ King James Hotel to the roundabout.

A Proposal of Application Notice has now been lodged while talks to sell the land are “at an early stage”.

A spokesman for HGI said: “Our most recent discussions on taking the development forward are still at a very early stage, and we will make further announcements when appropriate.

“HGI remain committed to the success of this scheme and have every confidence in bringing it forward in due course.”

In 2012, the Quarter plans were postponed indefinitely. This came three years after Thistle Hotels baulked at a move to the roundabout, revealing a clause in its lease, signed with the previous operator of the St James Centre, that guarantees its existing location.

A council spokeswoman said: “The redevelopment of the St James Quarter is long overdue. We are in discussion with various parties to look at ways in which this project can be delivered. The discussions are still at a very early stage.”

‘SIGNIFICANT GREEN SHOOT’

Stephen Brady, head of RICS Scotland Quantity and Construction Professional Group Board, said the move should be viewed as “a rather significant green shoot”.

He said:“This is the most positive movement on this development since 2009 and it would be a significant first step towards the complete redevelopment of the St James Quarter. If this overall scheme were to go ahead using private money then it would be a huge boost for the commercial sector in the Central Belt. The entire market would take confidence from it.

“All it takes is for someone to make a move and a whole load of other shelved projects begin moving.”
Details of the proposed Picardy Place hotel in the original AMA masterplan


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Old September 16th, 2013, 10:14 PM   #2
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Great project. A little confused about how a hotel can be moved to the roundabout ?! Can anyone enlighten me?
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Old September 16th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by leadensky View Post
Great project. A little confused about how a hotel can be moved to the roundabout ?! Can anyone enlighten me?
Like this:

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Old September 16th, 2013, 10:50 PM   #4
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This hotel development and road realignment would return the area to something more like its previous form.

Map from 1836


Photos of the Picardy Place block before demolition -
image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


Arthur Conan Doyle was born on this block.
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Old September 16th, 2013, 10:57 PM   #5
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You beat me to it, but while I was (unsuccessfully) hunting for an old aerial view of Picardy Place I came across this:



Picardy Place roundabout with a full-size football pitch superimposed for scale from http://departmentfortransport.wordpress.com/tag/space/.
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Old September 16th, 2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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Ha. That certainly gives an idea for how massive this junction is currently. It has always felt very unEdinburgh-like to me for that reason. The proposed realignment will be a big improvement.

The nearby London Road roundabout must be nearly as big but I think it's also getting redesigned as a more pedestrian and cycle friendly junction with traffic lights.
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Old September 16th, 2013, 11:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenspeckle View Post
Ha. That certainly gives an idea for how massive this junction is currently. It has always felt very unEdinburgh-like to me for that reason. The proposed realignment will be a big improvement.

The nearby London Road roundabout must be nearly as big but I think it's also getting redesigned as a more pedestrian and cycle friendly junction with traffic lights.
Funny you should say that... At the risk of going slightly off-topic, from the same page:

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Old September 16th, 2013, 11:58 PM   #8
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Did a little digging... This was the intended layout of the London Road junction as part of the tramworks planning app (2009).



So I imagine the new signalled junction will be pretty similar to this.

And the redesign for Picardy Place from the same application.



And in an effort to get us back on topic... a couple more indicative images of the hotel from the original masterplan. I think these show just how important the design for this building will be - there's nowhere to hide on this one!



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Old September 17th, 2013, 01:06 AM   #9
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The Hotels section of Allan Murray Architects' website lists "Picardy Hotel" - I'm not 100% but I think this has only appeared very recently. It doesn't link to a project page yet and there's only one small image, not much more than a thumbnail, but enough to suggest that it has been developed further than the indicative ideas in the masterplan.

Enlarged thumbnail


The hotel looks to be ten storeys and is definitely taller than the Omni Centre in the background.

Tram stop on the left and what looks like the Eduardo Paolozzi's sculpture, 'The Manuscript of Monte Cassino', relocated between the trees in the new public space to the front.

Definitely an improvement on the roundabout.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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Excellent images. I never considered how much space is wasted at these junctions. Plenty of room for trams, cycle lanes, public realm and a hotel!

Future proofing the trams swinging right onto London Rd would be a good idea.

Would like to see some bright light advertising here and at Haymarket - the east and west gateways to the city centre. Maybe rename it Picardy Circus.. :-D
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Old September 17th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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Looking forward to seeing this one happen more and more, especially now I've seen that roundabout redesign, they're definitely going about this the right way.

And thanks in general, so much going on over there that I haven't been keeping track of.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 09:08 PM   #12
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A proposal of application notice has been submitted for the hotel site. I'm not sure how significant that actually is, but at least my suspicion that those previous news articles were based on pure speculation was completely wrong!
Quote:
13/03853/PAN | Formation of development site and erection of hotel with ground floor mixed uses and ancillary supporting infrastructure | Land 63 Metres South Of 12 Picardy Place Edinburgh
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Old September 28th, 2013, 11:01 PM   #13
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A proposal of application notice has been submitted for the hotel site. I'm not sure how significant that actually is, but at least my suspicion that those previous news articles were based on pure speculation was completely wrong!


Well spotted, Leki.

From the application, I see there's a drop-in exhibition on the 9th October between 2:00-7:30pm at Cafe Camino Hall on Little King Street...
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Old September 28th, 2013, 11:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenspeckle View Post
Well spotted, Leki.

From the application, I see there's a drop-in exhibition on the 9th October between 2:00-7:30pm at Cafe Camino Hall on Little King Street...
Will you be attending? Photos if you are!
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Old September 28th, 2013, 11:28 PM   #15
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Will you be attending? Photos if you are!
I'll do my best, if I can make it! Hopefully, at least one of us can be there.

If nothing else, it would be nice to get official word on where they stand with regards to the tram extension across Picardy Place.
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Old October 9th, 2013, 11:39 PM   #16
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So I turned up at today's pre-application consultation only to find it had been cancelled. My initial annoyance waned (a bit) as I took the opportunity to have a look around St. Mary's Cathedral next door. Bonny building.

No word yet on when the event will be rescheduled.
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Old October 9th, 2013, 11:57 PM   #17
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Good work anyway, speckle. Would be great if we had some information on it before the launch of the new forum. Anyone tapped you to be a mod yet?
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Old October 10th, 2013, 12:44 AM   #18
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Good work anyway, speckle. Would be great if we had some information on it before the launch of the new forum. Anyone tapped you to be a mod yet?
Was it Stan Lee or Voltaire who said "with great power, comes great responsibility"? Either way, not sure how I'd feel about that!
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Old November 25th, 2013, 11:25 AM   #19
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Rescheduled Picardy Place event. I'm unable to attend but hopefully someone else can drop by.

Quote:
Henderson Global Investors (HGI) is hosting the first of two planned community consultation exhibitions regarding its proposals for land at Picardy Place, Edinburgh. The site is currently occupied by the Picardy Place traffic roundabout and surrounding road space. HGI’s proposal is for the formation of a development site and erection of hotel with ground floor mixed uses and ancillary supporting infrastructure.

In 2009, City of Edinburgh Council approved Development Principles for Picardy Place which recognised the opportunity to fundamentally change Picardy Place and improve the important gateway to the city centre from a roundabout prioritising traffic movement to a high quality public place/development area. The current proposals are being developed in general accordance with these principles.

A drop-in exhibition is being held on Friday 6 December 2013 between 2pm – 7:30pm at Café Camino Hall, Parish Centre, 1 Little King Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3JD.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 04:10 PM   #20
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Rather misleading headline (entire development is valued at £850m) and the "newly released images" actually aren't featured in their online edition - good old EEN. Hopefully they'll turn up somewhere else soon.

£850m hotel plan for St James Quarter

Edinburgh Evening News - 5th December, 2013

Quote:
Images of how a hotel would look built on one of the Capital’s busiest roundabout have been released by the owners of the St James Centre.

The hotel proposed for Picardy Place would be a centrepiece of the £850 million plan to breathe new life into the St James Quarter.

Two designs – one a crescent-shaped building and the other a triangular, modern design – have been drawn up.

The designs for the hotel, built on the site of the current roundabout near the Playhouse Theatre, aim to mirror the tenement buildings which used to stand on the same spot.

The developers said the development would help to revitalise both the east end of the city centre and Leith 
Walk and create an environment which would encourage people to walk between the two areas.

Martin Perry, director of retail development at developers Henderson Global, said: “Picardy Place was once a very attractive and thriving hub in the heart of the city, and we have responded sensitively to the council’s development brief. As the point connecting the city centre and Leith, we see this as a huge opportunity to strengthen the links for the benefit of both.”

The plans include the removal of the large roundabout between the Omni Centre and St Mary’s Cathedral, which would be replaced by one of two hotel plans outlined here.

A highly-placed source said: “There are plans for two hotels, including a five-star hotel, as part of the overall project, but the hotel constructed on the roundabout site is likely to be three or four star.

“The previous building was very much in front of St Mary’s Cathedral, whereas this building will be more to the side so that there will still be a view of St Mary’s from Leith Walk and vice versa.”

The source said that it was “too early to say” when construction might begin, adding that “we are still at one of the first points of putting together a very complicated jigsaw”.

“Henderson Global will have to look at, alongside Edinburgh council, to ensure that works on Picardy Place are conducted at an appropriate time, and do not clash with the refurbishment of Leith Walk.”

The project also includes the complete demolition of one of Edinburgh’s most unloved buildings, the St James Shopping Centre.

The overall scheme was granted planning permission in 2009 and had an original start date of 2011 and a completion date of 2016.

Henderson Global Investors (HGI) has now given the city council formal notification of its intention to submit more detailed plans for the hotel part of the project.

It hopes to transform the shopping centre into a St James Quarter, featuring flagship shops, flats, offices, cafes and a public square. A luxury 239-bed, four-star hotel is also being built next to the Playhouse Theatre on Baxter’s Place.
Just a wee reminder that the rescheduled Picardy Place drop-in exhibition is being held tomorrow, Friday 6th December between 2pm – 7:30pm at Café Camino Hall on Little King Street.
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