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Discussion Starter #1
Location: St Andrew Square and South St David Street

Value: £100m

Developer: Stockland / Peveril

Architects: Gareth Hoskins Architects & CDA

9,290 sq m office space across 5 levels
6,500 sq m retail across 3 levels and 6 units
7 luxury apartments
Basement parking

Official Site: 3-8 St Andrew Square

Current Status: Approved (currently seeking consent for changes to approved scheme)



In 2007, planning permission was granted for a speculative mixed use multi-let office development on the south edge of St Andrew Square. Of the seven buildings comprising the site all but two (3 and 6/7) would be demolished and replaced by two new buildings.

06/03441/FUL | Redevelopment of existing site (including the selective demolition of buildings) to form a mixed use development of office and retail uses and residential development (as amended to reduce scale) | 3-8 St Andrew Square + 7-21 South St David Street Edinburgh EH2 2BD





Number 3, built in 1923-25 by Burnet, Son and Dick as an extension to Forsyth's Princes Street store, is A listed and would be developed as a standalone residential building with a retail unit at street level.



Number 6/7, the Scottish Provident Building, designed by William G Leslie of the firm Rowand Anderson, Kinimonth & Paul and completed in 1969 - although only B listed, it is considered by some as one of the best infill buildings of its period in the UK. It would be redeveloped, with the ground floor lowered to street level, and linked throughout to the two new office and retail buildings.



The remainder of the site would be cleared to make way for two L-plan shaped buildings wrapping around the restored Number 6/7, with double height retail units accessed from the two main street frontages of St Andrew Square and South St David Street. Office accommodation would be arranged on the upper floors, creating a central glass-roofed atrium. The facade would feature a distinctive veil of bronze vertical fins across a glass-clad envelope.







The development was successfully tendered and a contractor selected in early 2008 but was shelved as the credit crunch took hold.

In 2012 it was reported that the site was on the verge of being sold to a new developer who wished to use the site for a £120m luxury hotel and retail scheme.

Currently, developers are pursuing the initial proposal but seeking an amendment of the original planning permission. Specifically, to reconfigure the arrangement of the office floors on the grounds that the retention of the original floorplates in the Scottish Provident Building (which created mismatched floor levels and a dense column grid) rendered the development unlettable. The new proposal would see the retention of the Scottish Provident Building facade but with new contiguous floor plates behind (requiring the dismantling and subsequent reconstruction of the facade). As a result, the floor levels will now no longer align with the ’retained’ St Andrew Square horizontal structural floor levels. A void is formed between the new floor levels and the ‘retained’ existing elevation and the new floors would have a tapered edge to minimise the visual impact.





The new proposals for the Scottish Provident Building have received a lot of criticism from heritage groups and the council suspended the application in August. However, the application was resubmitted in September and the council is currently reconsidering the matter.

13/03955/LBC | Demolition of 6/7 St Andrew Square and construction of new floor plates at upper levels, together with façade reconstruction. | 3 - 8 St Andrew Square Edinburgh EH2 2BD
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Scottish Provident building to be gutted

The Scotsman - 18th December, 2013



A modenist landmark in central Edinburgh is to be largely demolished to make way for an office, retail and residential complex, despite objections from heritage groups and prominent architects.

The former Scottish Provident building on St Andrew Square will be gutted and its facade removed before being rebuilt from next year.

Stockland intend to transform the south side of the square into grade A office space, along with ground floor retail units and seven exclusive apartments on the upper floors.

The development firm said the lengthy 27-month construction period will create 400 jobs. The building has been empty for nearly ten years.

Councillors approved the application yesterday having delayed the decision for a site visit and to examine a series of objections from Historic Scotland and the Cockburn Association civic trust.

Malcolm Fraser, a leading architect who chairs the Scottish Government’s town centre review, was also heavily critical of the project, warning against putting economic development before the demolition of a B-listed building.

He described the redevelopment style as “scrapbook-facadism” which is “universally derided, trashing and traducing our heritage for no benefit”.

The Scottish Provident building was designed by William G Leslie of Rowand Anderson, Kinimonth & Paul. It is highly regarded as a fine example of ‘Brutalist’ architecture among many conservationists.

Despite the concerns the council planning committee yesterday approved the project by 10 votes to 1. Two other buildings on the same block already have approval for demolition.

Ken Lindsay, a director at Stockland, last night welcomed the decision, which has paved the way for construction.

The firm said it had struggled to attract occupiers without making substantial changes to the building, including increasing floor heights to modern standards. It hopes to open the building in mid-2016.

He told The Scotsman: “Clearly we’re very pleased with this decision which will now allow us to get on site earlier than expected, hopefully by the spring.

“The changes to the building will allow us to attract top quality occupiers to this vibrant part of the city.”

He added that the proximity to the St Andrew Square tram stop would be a draw for interested businesses.

Mr Lindsay said: “We believe this is a prime site, especially given the proximity to Waverley Station and the new tram stop connecting the city centre to the airport.
 

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is it possible to like dismantle the current nice looking buildings and place it 'away from the Aswan' as you could say, cause i do like the design and i do like the current buildings, but if i was to go with either a functioning building or a building unfurnished standing there looking sad, id go for the former, cause we need to economic boost i think. I'm still waiting for lower princess street galleries and upper princess street galleries (mall on the roofs of current buildings)
 

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Scottish Provident demolition to take place immediately

Urban Realm - 17th February, 2014

Work to demolish Edinburgh’s B-listed former Scottish Provident building is to commence immediately following its acquisition by Standard Life Investments.

The financial giant has entered into a £75m joint venture agreement with Peveril Securities to develop the St Andrew Square property into a speculative 165,000sq/ft mixed use scheme offering a mix of grade A office space, retail and apartments.

This clears the way for work to commence on a Gareth Hoskins and CDA penned scheme for the site, which has blain in limbo for over five years.

David Stewart, fund manager of the Standard Life Investments Pooled Property Fund said: “This development is a terrific opportunity to capitalise on the current constrained supply and improving occupier demand within Edinburgh. The property is in an absolutely prime location and we will be creating a first class long term investment for our investors.”

A statement issued by Standard Life indicated that work is now expected to begin ‘immediately’ for completion by 2016.
 

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What material are they using on the exterior of the building? If it is concrete and wood.. it won't look great in several years. My only concern.
 

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What material are they using on the exterior of the building? If it is concrete and wood.. it won't look great in several years. My only concern.
I don't think either of those materials are being used. I believe it's an entirely glazed envelope, overlayed with bronze 'fins' (the bits I'm guessing you think are wood).
 

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£75m St Andrew Square scheme to go ahead

Edinburgh Evening News - 26th February, 2014

A major £75 million development is set to change the face of shopping in the city centre – seven years after permission was first granted for the new mall and offices on St Andrew Square.

Work to demolish the vacant former Scottish Provident office building on the south of the square is expected to begin immediately, with the site then being developed into a brand new shopping mall, topped by offices and rooftop apartments.

The development will see double height shop units created across the ground floor of the extensive site, with entrances to the new stores from both St Andrew Square and South St David Street.

It will create a new link between Princes Street and the St James Centre through Multrees Walk, with the 165,000sq ft development described as the most important for the city’s retail sector since the arrival of Harvey Nichols.

The developers Standard Life Investments and Peveril Securities say it will deliver a considerable boost to the city centre as both a shopping and business district by providing new stores and prestigious new offices.

But it has not been universally welcomed, with the design of the new building and partial demolition of a B-listed building sparking anger and condemnation from architects and heritage groups. The 1960s-style design of the old office block once saw it branded an “eyesore” by councillors but it has also been defended as an “iconic” building.

The development at 3-8 St Andrew Square aims to breathe new life into a site which has lain vacant for five years.

David Stewart, fund manager of Standard Life Investments Pooled Property Fund, said: “The property is in an absolutely prime location and we will be creating a first-class long-term investment for our investors.”

Demolition work is expected work to start immediately with the project due to be complete by 2016.

The former headquarters of Scottish Provident insurance was acquired by Peveril Securities in March 2012 for £20m.

Kieran Gaffney, of Edinburgh architectural firm Konishi Gaffney, called the new design “blandness masquerading as bold”, and said: “The partial demolition of the B-Listed modernist masterpiece at 6-7 St Andrews Square is a disgraceful part of this.

“Modernism is hugely unpopular with the public so we should realise that when a 1960s building actually gets listed it must be brilliant and should be better protected.”

Edinburgh architectural consultant David Black called the new building “about the worst example of ego-architecture ever proposed for the New Town”.

He added: “It is an absolute scandal that they are proposing the total destruction of two handsome stone-designed buildings on the south side of St Andrew’s Square, and the desecration of Kininmonth’s Scottish Provident Building.”

Edinburgh’s civic trust, The Cockburn Association, also registered its displeasure with the plans before they were approved.

In a letter sent to the council planning committee, director Marion Williams said: “There is no exceptional economic case to justify demolition of what is a fine and rare listed building of its type and era.”

A spokeswoman for Standard Life stressed the benefits the new development would bring to the city centre business and retail district.

She said: “We are pleased to be able to contribute towards the regeneration of the south side of St Andrew Square.

“The development will bring a long unoccupied building back into use as a first class contemporary, mixed-use development.”

‘It’s good to have variety’

With experts criticising the plans to redevelop a prime site on st Andrew Square, we asked some people in the area what they thought of the new design.

Brian Barber, 71, pictured, was generally in favour of the proposal, saying: “There’s so many different kinds of architecture in the city centre, it’s good to have a bit of variety.”

There was also backing from Mary McCann, 64, pictured, of Liberton, who said: “The new building looks as if it’ll be quite modern. The area has got to move on even though we like the look of the old buildings.”

Others were less keen however, with one couple visiting the area saying the plans were not in keeping with the surrounding square, adding: “It doesn’t look right in terms of keeping up with the surrounding area, and that’s just from the first look.

“It reminds me of the parliament! It’ll look very modern but that doesn’t necessarily make it look correct for the area.”

Analysis

By Ken Houston, owner of a PR agency and a former award-winning property journailst

This being Edinburgh, it is hardly surprising such a controversial design has not won hearts and minds in some quarters.

However, design is subjective and others will see a bold scheme whose effect will be to help regenerate a key part of town which, despite recent imaginative landscaping, not to mention the emergence of Harvey Nichols, has never been quite the same since the departure of the Scottish life assurance companies with whom St Andrew Square was once synonymous.

Setting aside differences in architectural taste, the development can only be good news for the city centre and the businesses that will feed off the retail spend of those eventually employed there. With The Exchange business district now complete, there is little scope for large-scale office schemes within the central area.

So as well as boosting the city centre as a whole, this scheme will return some east-west balance to the central area office map.
 

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I'm looking forward to seeing how this building turns out - it's potentially a welcome break from stone-clad boxes that are usually mandatory in the city centre.

There does need to be a balance, but I wouldn't have a problem with Tesco or Starbucks. Both are beneficial to the city centre offering in their own way and supermarkets especially are needed if residential use is to be encouraged on Princes Street. I wouldn't want them in every other unit, right enough.
 

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A perspective who actually lives a block from this development....

I would welcome a Tesco, gladly. There isn't a local Tesco apart from Canonmills. I would love to shop there versus the Sainsbury's across the street that I frequent. So, yes please, Tesco would be great. All ye people who don't live in the centre shouldn't get a say.
 

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A perspective who actually lives a block from this development....

I would welcome a Tesco, gladly. There isn't a local Tesco apart from Canonmills. I would love to shop there versus the Sainsbury's across the street that I frequent. So, yes please, Tesco would be great. All ye people who don't live in the centre shouldn't get a say.
There is one at the west end of Princes St.

My other half lives quite near to St Andrew Sq and I work just round the corner. :banana:

I think most, if not all, of the retail units are over two or three floors so probably won't very suitable for supermarket use.
Good to know and interesting, very similar to the larger units on Multrees Walk then!
 

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I'm aware, but we're not talking about the west end, we're talking about St. Andrew Square.

Cool about your other half. Where do you live?

My other half lives with me on this block and would also welcome a Tesco. We strongly support local businesses as well.
 

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Not to antagonise you further than Silver Pegasus clearly already has, but...

Some people might consider the west end of Princes Street to be within walking distance of Thistle Street.

Some people spend considerable amounts of time at the houses of their partners.

Some people might even suggest that one does not have to live within the "Golden Rectangle" to have an opinion on what gets built there.

I don't live in the New Town. I don't work in the New Town. I am a citizen of Edinburgh nevertheless, and it's my city centre too. I like the proposal.

Incidentally, I also like having a Tesco only a ten minute walk away. But then, I could walk from Thistle Street to the west end Tesco in ten minutes too.
 

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Depends on the type of opinion. We're all entitled to equal views. Just remember the NIMBY argument only works if it's actually in your back yard.
 

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Depends on the type of opinion. We're all entitled to equal views. Just remember the NIMBY argument only works if it's actually in your back yard.
Not really a NIMBY argument though - what Silver Pegasus is surely saying is that the addition of such an uninspiring frontage in this prominent location is not desirable for Edinburgh; nor is it desirable from the perspective of outsiders visiting Edinburgh. With Sainsburys right across the road, i would be very depressed to see a Tesco move in (even if this is unlikely given the height of the unit).

Your argument about 'locals' having the final say in such matters would be relevant in purely residential areas (eg Buckstone), but is not relevant to the city centre. The city centre is not there to exclusively serve and be defined by those who live directly in it; but rather by the city as a whole.
 

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Not really a NIMBY argument though - what Silver Pegasus is surely saying is that the addition of such an uninspiring frontage in this prominent location is not desirable for Edinburgh; nor is it desirable from the perspective of outsiders visiting Edinburgh. With Sainsburys right across the road, i would be very depressed to see a Tesco move in (even if this is unlikely given the height of the unit).

Your argument about 'locals' having the final say in such matters would be relevant in purely residential areas (eg Buckstone), but is not relevant to the city centre. The city centre is not there to exclusively serve and be defined by those who live directly in it; but rather by the city as a whole.
I totally understand the assertion about assigning businesses as "uninspiring frontage in this prominent location", and I see this attitude all over the forums. I don't personally care for it. What's wrong with supermarkets? What's wrong with bank branches? What makes these things "undesirable"? I shop every single week at Real Foods, Margiotta, Bon Vivant Companion, but I also shop at Tesco and Sainsbury's.

Edinburgh should be reasonably protected given it's heritage status, but a balance needs to be struck to make it livable. The city centre does have residents, and services like Tesco should be welcomed unless said residents object. After all, the city serves it's people rather than pleasing a forum of urban enthusiasts. So why should someone who lives in Gilmerton for example be able to object to a local service being installed that they would likely never use anyway? You won't see me offering my opinions about what shops shouldn't be installed at Quartermile or Marchmont, because I don't live there.

It's not as if I'm welcoming a Homebase underneath the Castle in the Gardens...
 
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