Construction starts on £350m Haymarket mixed-use development in Scottish capital

Qmile Group chief executive, Paul Curran; M&G Real Estate investment director, Hugo Henkes and M&G Real Estate director of asset management, Aaron Pope

M&G Real Estate and its appointed property developer Qmile Group have announced construction work has started at the £350m Haymarket Edinburgh mixed-use development in the Scottish capital.

Designed by globally renowned architect Foster + Partners, Haymarket will deliver more than 380,000 sq ft of much-needed Grade A office space along with hotel accommodation totalling 365 bedrooms and provision for 40,000 sq ft of retail space.

The four-acre site will comprise five buildings, three of which will be offices and the other two hotels. It is estimated that the office space alone will accommodate up to 4,500 workers.

In addition, at the heart of the development will be Haymarket Square, a vibrant new landscaped public space for the city centre which has been designed to offer leisure and retail opportunities as well as a social and events space.

M&G Real Estate acquired the four-acre site in 2018 for £49.1m. Following a tendering process, the main contractor for Haymarket Edinburgh’s first phase is Sir Robert McAlpine. The contractor is currently on-site delivering Haymarket Edinburgh’s first building, 1 Haymarket Square, which will provide 110,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation and has a gross development value of £80m.

Up to 500 ‘live’ direct and indirect construction jobs will be supported on the development during Haymarket Edinburgh’s three-year build programme.

Qmile Group has previously worked with M&G Real Estate, Foster + Partners and Sir Robert McAlpine, to deliver the £750m mixed-use Quartermile development, also in Edinburgh city centre.

Commenting on the work starting on site, Qmile Group chief executive, Paul Curran, said: “Our objective is to make Haymarket Edinburgh a world-class place for business, leisure and hospitality. Our work at Quartermile clearly demonstrated how we can deliver complex, high-profile projects, so we are very pleased to reunite the same team on Haymarket Edinburgh.

“The development has been designed to deliver sustainable commercial and societal benefits for the city. We will purposefully create a platform for further economic growth within the capital at Haymarket Edinburgh and provide the city’s residents and visitors with inclusive new public space.

“With work now started on site, the vision for Haymarket Edinburgh is well on its way to becoming a reality. There has already been significant interest from a range of occupiers and we only expect this to increase now we have begun the build programme with the first building, 1 Haymarket Square, scheduled for delivery during the second quarter of 2022.”

M&G Real Estate’s director of asset management, Aaron Pope, said: “Committing to fund the delivery of this prime mixed-use development in Edinburgh city centre was a natural choice and perfectly aligned with our investment approach – providing industry leading, high quality and sustainable business space that integrates seamlessly with the area and provides the kind of environment and facilities to meet modern occupier needs.

“With work on 1 Haymarket Square progressing at pace, we are excited to maintain the momentum with commencement of works on the wider development. It will set a new tone for Edinburgh’s office accommodation and deliver a new attractive quarter for the city and all who live and work there.”

Savills and JLL have been appointed as office agents and EYCO and Culverwell have been appointed as retail agents.

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