Plans to turn Edinburgh Debenhams into £50 million hotel approved



The City of Edinburgh Council has approved plans for a £50m regeneration of the former Debenhams store on Princes Street.

The planning committee agreed unanimously that it would “set the tone” for the future regeneration of Edinburgh city centre.

The building on 109-112 Princes Street, between Castle Street and Frederick Street, is owned by asset manager Legal & General.

It carried out a three-month public consultation on the proposals, which received support from the public, alongside Business Improvement District operator Essential Edinburgh and Edinburgh’s Chamber of Commerce.

The development will create a new 207 room boutique hotel and hospitality hub, with plans including a restaurant and rooftop bar, spa, a new pedestrian link between Princes Street and Rose Street and new shopping, dining, leisure and public event spaces.

No car parking is proposed, but 42 indoor cycle parking spaces will be provided within the development.

Legal & General plans to restore the historically significant parts of the building as prominent features within the hotel.

The Gladstone Library will become a fine dining and public events space, with the stained glass windows within 112 Princes Street being relocated to receive natural light for the first time.

The Conservative Club stairs will be moved to be a feature for the front of house and public area of the hotel, with a proposed redecoration of the Liberal Club.

Construction work will begin in 2022 with the new boutique hotel scheduled to open in 2024.

Nida Rehman, development manager for Legal & General, said: “We’re obviously delighted with this decision which is both a vote of confidence in our proposals and in the future of Princes Street itself.

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“There can be little doubt that the views from these magnificent buildings will be fantastic, but we are determined that the experience for people who come to visit, eat, shop, relax and simply spend time will be every bit as special.”

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