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Planning jigsaw complete, as TH Real Estate secures approval for Edinburgh St James hotel

Planning decision takes TH Real Estate one step closer to starting work on-site next year.

TH Real Estate has been granted planning permission by the City of Edinburgh Council for the landmark hotel which will sit at the heart of its mixed-use Edinburgh St James scheme. The Central Hotel application marks the last major planning decision to be taken by the City of Edinburgh Council and signifies another key milestone for Edinburgh St James, one of largest regeneration projects currently underway in the UK.

Architecture practice Jestico + Whiles has designed the striking hotel as a bundle of ‘coiled ribbons’, creating a free-flowing design which will complement the development’s elegantly understated masterplan. The building will create a new landmark venue for the city and will include up to 210 beds, restaurants, bars and a rooftop terrace at uppermost levels, providing never-seen-before panoramic views across the city.

In July, the City of Edinburgh Council approved Primary Reserved Matters, Secondary Reserved Matters and a John Lewis detailed application for the 1.7 million sq ft (157,935 sq m) Edinburgh St James project which was designed by Edinburgh-based Allan Murray Architects. The redevelopment will see the 1970’s shopping centre currently on site replaced with 850,000 sq ft (78, 967 sq m) of retail space, up to 250 new homes, 30 restaurants and a multi-screen cinema as well as the world class hotel.

Now that the hotel designs have been given the green light, TH Real Estate is looking forward to the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) scheduled for September. Subject to its successful resolution, the team will work towards a January vacant possession of the St James Centre. This will enable demolition works to begin onsite in early 2016, with completion anticipated to be in 2020.

Martin Perry, Director of Development, TH Real Estate, commented:

"We are thrilled that the City of Edinburgh Council has supported our vision for the hotel. The building will be the centrepiece of Edinburgh St James and will reinforce the city’s position as an international destination. The hotel’s iconic design has already generated interest from global hotel operators and today’s decision to approve our proposals takes us one step closer to starting work on-site next year and to delivering the development.”

About TH Real Estate

TH Real Estate is an established investment management company, specialising in real estate equity and debt investment worldwide. As one of the largest real estate managers in the world, TH Real Estate has the scale, capital resources and knowledge to provide creative and effective real estate investment solutions for clients. With a focus on the retail, office, logistics, debt and residential sectors, TH Real Estate emphasises sustainable practices to protect assets and maximise their value.

The company is owned by TIAA-CREF, a US financial services and Fortune 100 company, with £584bn assets under management*. Launched in April 2014, TH Real Estate has a dedicated global presence with offices across America, Asia and Europe, representing c.£17.4bn* of real estate assets across c.50 funds and mandates. Together with TIAA-CREF’s US real estate assets, the global real estate platform of £55.7bn* represents one of the largest real estate investment management enterprises in the world.

Its products are managed by specialist teams, which apply their own experience to the management and style of their portfolios. Each team is supported by an experienced senior management team and integrated investment platform, including finance, debt and currency management, performance analytics, client service, fund and transaction structuring, development, sustainability and research.

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