Hotel and leisure ‘hub’ proposal for Princes Street Debenhams goes to planning

Legal & General has submitted detailed plans for its proposed redevelopment and refurbishment of the Debenhams store on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

Hotel and leisure ‘hub’ proposal for Princes Street Debenhams goes to planning

The fund manager, on behalf of the L&G UK Property Fund, is to invest over £50 million in the project which hopes to deliver a 210-bed hotel with a rooftop bar and city centre ‘hub’ with space for local businesses.

Debenhams entered administration for the second time in April this year and went into liquidation on December 1.

The planning submission by ICA Architects follows an online pre-application consultation (PAC) during which Legal & General said it wants to restore and protect the heritage of the building for the long term. The plans will also contribute towards the council’s long-held ambitions to create a café culture on Edinburgh’s most famous street.

The hotel would be a four-star Marriott Tribute, the first of the brand in Scotland.

Nida Rehman, development manager at Legal & General, said: “As we look beyond the coronavirus pandemic, it has never been more important to invest in UK cities. Our vision for Princes Street is to deliver a future proofed vibrant space that supports Edinburgh’s economic recovery and continues to promote it as an attractive place to live, work and visit.

“Our proposals will secure these important buildings as a vibrant hub in the centre of one of the world’s great cities, opening up some of the best views in Edinburgh, looking directly on to Princes Street Gardens and Edinburgh Castle. Our plans have been developed to create a space which all Edinburgh and Scottish residents can enjoy, whilst continuing to attract quality tourism to the city.”

If the planning application is approved, it is hoped work can begin within a year.

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