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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There are posts on this in the Edinburgh Development thread, but I mentioned in another thread that I thought the planned St James Centre redevelopment was a large enough project that it deserved a thread of its own and Kolothos suggested I make one, so here it is.

Originally laid out by James Craig, the architect who planned the original Edinburgh New Town, St James Square and the surrounding streets between St Andrew Square and Leith Street had seen better days by the 1960s and were seen as slums and an opportunity for modern redevelopment. The Georgian townhouses and tenements were razed to the ground.


From http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.c...treet-st-james-square-and-greenside-1-2842520

The 1970s-built St James Centre (and adjoining New St Andrew’s House) has become one of Edinburgh’s most unloved buildings, widely seen as an ugly, brutalist concrete eyesore, completely unsympathetic to the surrounding architecture.


Google aerial view

Henderson Global Investors purchased the site in 2006 with a view to redeveloping the site, and in 2009 were granted planning permission to demolish most of the shopping centre site, keeping the John Lewis store at the north east of the site between Leith Street and Little King Street, which would continue trading throughout construction.

The plans for the proposed ‘St James Quarter’ include creating a three-level crescent shaped galleria sweeping from Multrees Walk to the current shopping centre entrance at the Princes Street end of Leith Street. Retail space would be effectively doubled, and the proposals also include housing, offices and a hotel.


From http://www.edinburgharchitecture.co.uk/st_james_quarter.htm


From http://www.lunson-mitchenall.co.uk/projects/st-james/

Artists impressions from the St James Quarter website

Leith Street entrance


Multrees Walk entrance


Garden Terrace


St James Square


In May last year Henderson Global announced the project had been delayed.

The BBC reported the project as being delayed by three years: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-17989645
An £850m project to replace an Edinburgh shopping centre described as an "eyesore" has been delayed by three years.
The work on the St James Quarter, at the east end of Princes Street, was originally due to be completed by 2015.

Developers Henderson Global Investors said the completion date was now 2018.
The plan, to demolish the existing 1970s St James Centre and replace it with modern retail and office space, was given the go-ahead in 2009.
At the time, Henderson Global Investors said the scheme would restore the city's reputation as a world-class shopping destination.
Under the plans, the St James Quarter would contain twice as much retail space as the existing centre and could house up to 90 shops.
An Edinburgh City Council spokesperson said: "Henderson Global remain committed to the redevelopment of the St James Centre and will be taking this project forward over the next five years.
"The company has a strong track record in delivering shopping centre developments throughout the UK, including the Bullring in Birmingham and the Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow."

On the same day the Edinburgh Evening News reported the project as being put on hold indefinitely: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/st-james-plans-placed-on-hold-indefinitely-1-2280849
The rebuild of the St James Centre has been put on hold indefinitely, it is reported today.
The £850 million project to knock down the shopping centre and former Scottish Office buildings was due to see demolition on parts of the site start this year.
The shopping centre was expected to close next year for work to begin, and was due to be completed by 2015.
But today it is reported that work has been postponed indefinitely. The completion date is now 2018 at the earliest.
The St James Quarter was due to include a complex of around 90 shops, a five-star hotel, office blocks and dozens of homes.
It is now understood that the hotel plans have been dropped, along with many of the homes, although there are still 125 flats planned for the site.
The scheme was given approval three years ago, but city planners are still waiting to receive detailed plans from site owner Henderson Global Investors.
The council insisted that the London-based firm was still committed to the project, but would only say it was expected to move forward “over the next five years”.
It is thought the development’s progress has stalled because of complex negotiations between the developer, the council and existing tenants at the centre. It has also been hit by the downturn in the property market and delays to the tram project.
As the News reported in November, negotiations were reportedly complicated when it was discovered that Thistle Hotels, operator of the King James Hotel, had a clause in its lease that guaranteed its existing location.
There is unlikely to be any demolition on the site until detailed approval for the scheme is granted.
A property industry source said the situation had changed since initial permission was given for the project. They said: “The whole climate for property development has changed dramatically and many elements of the original scheme are simply no longer viable.”
A council insider added: “The issues affecting Henderson are the same that have affected a host of other sites in the city, including Caltongate and Haymarket.
“The frustration is that even if new plans are submitted tomorrow, they will take more than a year to get through the planning process.”
A council spokesman said: “Henderson remain committed to the redevelopment of the St James Centre and will be taking this project forward over the next five years.”
 

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Very continental looking - should go well with the trams!

Massive improvement over the current St James Centre.
 

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I take it I can't edit the title of this thread to put in the pound sign I missed?

How did I miss that! :lol:

It would be pretty big news on Skyscrapercity the day "Edinburgh plans world's tallest Skyscraper!"
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What is the current status? Is this going to get underway any time soon? Would love if it did!
The two articles from May 2012 that I quoted in the original post were the most recent information I could find, and the timeline on the St James Quarter website still says demolition due to start in 2012 and construction to begin in early 2013 so it plainly hasn't been updated in a while. I'm guessing it's in limbo for the moment.

So does anyone know how I can fix the unfortunate typo in the title of this thread? If it's something I should be able to do myself I can't work it out. I tried messaging a mod for help yesterday but haven't had a reply - should I just try again with another mod? I'm kicking myself - my first attempt at creating a thread on skyscrapercity, I previewed the post and double-checked for typos, but obviously didn't even glance at what I'd typed for the thread title...
 

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2008 planning application for the consented St James Quarter scheme for anyone looking for more details, though my understanding is that the hotel has since been dropped and the residential units reduced in number. Hopefully the developers will start moving on this sooner than later.
 

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Before this gets knocked down, does anyone know of any means of accessing the roof? PM me please! Looking for some late-night city-scapes from a unique vantage point.
 

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About time, any chance they could turn it into an attraction and bring in a couple of Abbots for tourists and delighted locals to take pot shots with?
 

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Good pics, Moschops. Thanks.

In a similar vein, I thought it might be interesting to look back at what came before the current St. James Centre.

James Craig's 1773 designed St. James Square.



The tenements on the west side of the square are all that remains.

A couple of great annotated comparisons from the wonderful EdinPhoto site.





The corner of Leith Street and Little King Street, then and now.





And my favourite lost element, the north side of Leith Street, a sinuous split-level terrace with upper and lower level shops. There's a suggestion in the current outline masterplan that something similar to this could be reinstated. Let's hope so, if/when the developers ever get the redevelopment moving again.

Then


Now


More detail




Also, found a couple of scale model pics of the proposed scheme here.



 

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A few more shots of St James Square prior to its demolition courtesy of RCHAMS.







And just for fun, a couple of very different unrealised designs for the site.

Robert Adam's majestic and monumental 1791 vision for Leith Street.





More images and details here.

And Basil Spence's radical 1962 scheme, which featured shops, housing, offices and a cathedral. Note the total obliteration of Leith Street and a subterranean motorway heading off under Waterloo Place...







 

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Jesus, could they have chosen a more offensive headline for that story?
Oh come on, if the News of the World was still going they'd have had a field day with that one. I can guarantee the word 'trannie' would've been included, with bonus points for getting the phrase 'gender-bending' in the first sentence of the article.
 
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