Hotel plans unveiled promising ‘transformational’ change to Edinburgh’s Princes Street

EDINBURGH’S main thoroughfare of Princes Street is to be potentially the subject of ‘transformational’ investment, by a German hotel group.

Details have been revealed which (assuming planning permission is granted) will see the street become home to a £100m luxury hotel, by Ruby Hotels.

To be located on premises formerly occupied by the Zara and Next retail brands (104-108 Princes Street), the proposed development will – says a media announcement – represent “the redevelopment of the last major store still vacant on Princes Street”.

Should the development go ahead, it will be Ruby Hotels’s first foray into Scotland. The build will be part-conversion and part new-construction.

Continues the announcement: “A major public consultation is to be held on the plans and this will begin [later this month] with the intention of opening the hotel in late 2025.”

Recently, Princes Street has witnessed many of its premises emptying, as retailers relocate to the St James Quarter, to the east of the city centre.

The media announcement adds: “The plans have been announced following a succession of major developments that are taking place or have been delivered in Princes Street in recent years.

“These include Johnnie Walker Princes Street, Premier Inn (formerly New Look), the former BHS store at 64 Princes Street, the former Debenhams (which is adjacent to this proposed development), and, of course, the most recently-approved plans for Princes Street icon, Jenners.

“The proposals will be the last major store in Princes Street to be redeveloped following the well-publicised structural changes in Edinburgh’s retail landscape due in part to the growth in online shopping and relocations to the Edinburgh St James Quarter.”

Andrew Moffatt, the head of real estate and investment at Edinburgh-based real estate investment management company, Hunter REIM, is quoted, saying the proposals are “genuinely transformational”, with the prospect of having a “positive impact on Edinburgh’s ambitions to attract high-spending visitors”.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland