The St. James Quarter in Edinburgh will house the first W Hotel in Scotland. Credit: Stephen Bridger / Shutterstock.
The development is highlighted by the central Rimex feature building which houses the W Edinburgh hotel. Credit: Serge Cornu / Shutterstock.
The final crane was lifted from the site in May 2021, which marked the completion of construction. Credit: Scott Louden / Shutterstock.

St James Quarter in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, is a mixed-use district anchored by retail and lifestyle options development.

It is a regeneration project owned and developed by a joint venture between Dutch pension investor APG Asset Management (75%) and American asset manager Nuveen (25%).

The 1.7 million square feet mixed-use development will house shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, public spaces and leisure venues. With an estimated investment of approximately £1bn ($1.41bn), the project is centred around the former St James Shopping Centre which was demolished to facilitate the development of the new St James Quarter.

The final crane at the St James Quarter development site was officially removed in May 2021, marking the end of a five-year construction period, which began in October 2016. The St James Quarter is expected to open its doors to the public by the end of June 2021.

St James Quarter location and access

The St James Quarter is located in the middle of the east end of the Edinburgh City Centre Retail Core within the New Town Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. It is located at the intersection of three key routes in the city, namely North Bridge, George Street, and Leith Walk.

The property is easily accessible from the Edinburgh airport, bus station, Haymarket and Waverley railway stations, and other local transport connections.

St James Quarter development details

The St James Quarter mixed-use development is anchored by the existing John Lewis store, which remained open during the construction period. The project also includes a new cinema complex and the construction of a 74-room, four-star Roomzzz Aparthotel and the 244-room five-star W Edinburgh Hotel, which represents the debut of the W Hotels brand in Scotland.

The design of the St James Quarter includes the central steel Rimex feature, which wraps around the W hotel and rises from the centre.

The residential component of the development includes the New Eidyn, an apartment complex comprising 152 premium apartments with views of the city. To be located on the fifth to eighth floors of the St James Quarter and spanning three buildings, the complex will offer extensive residential spaces and gardens.

The apartments are designed by combining Edinburgh’s classic interiors with a contemporary flair and quality finishes, including floor-to-ceiling windows, stone worktops and wooden flooring. The New Eidyn is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

Retail offerings at St James Quarter

The St James Quarter mixed-use development will feature 850,000ft² of retail space, anchored by John Lewis. The shopping centre will accommodate up to 80 new brands.

The retail offerings at the shopping complex will include high-street retailers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, JD Sports, Next, and H&M. Zara will occupy 37,000ft² spanning three floors while H&M will occupy 2,100ft² across two floors.

Spanish multinational clothing company Inditex will open stores of its Bershka, Stradivarius and Pull&Bear brands within the St James Quarter’s main multilevel galleria.

Dining and entertainment options

The St James Quarter will feature more than 30 restaurants across four levels of the development. The dining options will include Tortilla, Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Hotel Chocolat, Bross Bagels, Five Guys, Salerno Pizza, SushiSamba, Black Sheep Coffee, and The Alchemist cocktail bar and restaurant. The Lane7 bar at the new neighbourhood will offer dining, bowling, crazy golf, ping-pong, and beer-pong.

The dining space will also include the Bonnie & Wild marketplace, the city’s first food hall with the capacity to accommodate approximately 700 guests, with open-plan seating for up to 400 people. The St James Quarter will also feature a five-screen Everyman cinema, the first cinema complex of the company in Scotland.

Amenities at the new mixed-use development in Edinburgh

St James Quarter will offer three new public squares. A car parking area with two entrances and exits will provide more than 1,600 parking bays across three basement levels, including 70 spaces for disabled persons.

The parking area will feature more than 40 electric vehicle (EV) charging bays powered by UK-based charging infrastructure provider PodPoint.

The shopping centre will also offer a hands-free shopping option that will allow shoppers to leave their purchases in-store and get them delivered to their preferred address.

Contractors involved

British multinational construction company Laing O’Rourke was engaged as the principal contractor for the construction of the St James Quarter.

TFT, a property development, built assets and sustainability consultant based in the UK, was appointed as the project monitoring surveyor.

The architectural design of the St James Quarter complex was provided by Allan Murray Architects and BDP Architects.

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) process for the development of the St James Quarter was coordinated by British multidisciplinary consultancy Waterman.

Boxxed, a marketing agency, received a contract to provide the positioning, brand strategy and delivery. Additionally, it provides marketing campaigns to target business and consumer audiences.

Property developer Native Land was selected as the residential partner for the mixed-use development. The company partnered with Queensberry Properties to develop the residential component of the project.

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