Multi-million pound plans to transform Edinburgh’s
Caltongate are currently undergoing public consultation. We
spoke to Lukas Nakos, Managing Director of the
developers, Artisan Real Estate
What are your plans for the 'Caltongate' site and what
investment will be involved?
Artisan Real Estate Investors has agreed a multi-million pound
deal to transform the Caltongate area, which remains one of
Edinburgh’s most significant city-centre development opportunities.
We are currently developing detailed designs for the site based on
existing 640,000 sqft mixed-use consents, which were approved in
2008 by the City of
These consents include a modern 195,000 sqft five-star hotel,
with space for 211 bedrooms and an 18,000 sqft conference centre,
around 160,000 sqft of premium office space, 30 new shops and cafes
and 165 new homes.
We’ve also begun the process of public consultation in order to
improve the planning consents on the site, and ensure the project
not only regenerates the area but does so in a manner sensitive to
both its historic context and the community that live in it.
What's your motivation for investing in Edinburgh, and
in this particular site? How do you feel about this
Artisan brings together a powerful consortium of South African
investors, and this is our most significant European investment to
date. As a key European capital city, and a world heritage site, we
want to use it as a high-profile platform to kick start other
prestigious investment projects across the northern hemisphere.
We want to create a vibrant mixed-use destination and this
location provides a unique opportunity to do so. This is an
excellent time to be investing in a quality city centre development
for Edinburgh. We have enjoyed high levels of interest from
international hotel chains in the city centre, and there is now in
addition a subtle shift in the city’s commercial property market
indicating a growing demand for high quality office accommodation,
with very little Grade A stock in the pipeline. From the interest
received so far, we are confident that this will be an exciting new
destination for people to live, work and visit.
What's the current public consultation about and how is
We have just completed a three-day public exhibition which
marked the start of our formal consultation process. Around 125
people attended the exhibition, which demonstrates high levels of
local interest in the site. We also facilitated an interactive
workshop bringing together a wide range of stakeholders and
interested parties - including The Old Town
Community Council, the City of Edinburgh Council,
and local residents.
Both the exhibition and workshop focused on
the existing context of the site and we had wide ranging and
positive discussions about the scope for future development. We are
very pleased with both the level of interest and informed opinion
that is currently out there and will continue to work very closely
with these stakeholders and local residents.
What happens next and what's the rough
All attendees at the exhibition and workshop held this month
were encouraged to complete a feedback questionnaire detailing
their views on any future plans.
This feedback will now be carefully considered before future
planning applications are submitted. To date, around 40 forms have
been completed before the deadline for responses closes on 16
Our detailed plans will be presented at our next consultation
event in January 2013, prior to lodging a detailed planning
application. If everything goes to plan, we will be looking to
start on site by mid-2013.