GSS concludes its biggest city deal to date with sale of Edinburgh’s Semple Street building

Semple St, Edinburgh

COMMERCIAL Property Developers GSS Developments (GSS) has completed its largest development deal to date with the sale of a prominent city centre building.

The six-storey complex at 2 Semple Street in the capital’s Exchange district, has been acquired by La Française Real Estate Managers. The extensive corner office building is the result of two years of redevelopment with demolition of the previous structure taking place in 2016 to final completion of the building in 2018.

McLaughlin and Harvey were the lead building contractors for the project which features 35,090 sq.ft. of offices, 9,776 sq.ft. of retail space and basement arrival facilities. The property is multi-let to a number of global occupiers including Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, a multinational technology company; RSM – a provider of audit, tax and consulting services, Womble Bond Dickinson, global lawyer firm, as well as major UK retailer Poundland and F45 gym.

The property features a host of sustainability and wellbeing enhancements, including BREEAM “Very Good” and EPC “A” ratings, air-conditioning delivered via Air source head pump technology, intelligent LED lighting on all floors, 47 bike spaces with maintenance facilities, electric car charging points and good connectivity by various means of transport.

Paul Stevenson, GSS Developments Director, said “The sale of 2 Semple Street to La Française Real Estate Investment Managers is a significant off-market transaction for our business and a strong indicator of the continued strength of the Edinburgh office market.  2 Semple Street has been an exciting landmark project for GSS to deliver from site purchase in 2015 to completion.  The environmental and wellness credentials incorporated into the design in 2016 have proved to have been key to securing global occupiers.” 

“We are extremely proud of the development and the fact that tenants include major global organisations is a testament to the craftmanship, dedication and expertise of all partners involved in this extensive redevelopment project.”

The acquisition by La Française is only the second real estate asset in Scotland for the Paris-headquartered company.

Peter Balfour, Managing Director, Head of Real Estate – UK, La Française Real Estate Managers, said: “Approximately 10 percent of the real estate portfolio managed by La Française Real Estate Managers is located outside of France.

“The building’s strong sustainability credentials, coupled with a limited supply of quality buildings, makes 2 Semple Street a valuable addition to our rapidly growing international real estate portfolio.

“It’s been a pleasure dealing with GSS Developments which has delivered a product that suits a long-term investor.”

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