“The existing buildings at Steads Place are no longer an economically viable investment for us and we propose to invest £50m in a new mixed-use development when all of the existing tenants move out and the site is completely vacant in 2019.
We are now having positive discussions with many of the current traders with a view to encouraging them to return to the new development on completion – offering favourable rents, in line with current levels, and significantly lower than market value.”’
He added: “We want this development to be a blueprint for introducing modern, contemporary design on to the high street without sacrificing the individuality and vibrancy that makes Leith unique. We feel our revised proposals, incorporating sympathetic design with an eclectic mix of tenants and a stand-out live music venue, will continue the rich tradition of diversity, independence and interest which makes Leith Walk such an exciting destination in which to live, work and visit.”
Drum is to submit a detailed planning application to the City of Edinburgh Council shortly for the redevelopment of surrounding site which, as well as the Leith Walk shop frontage, includes a medium-sized industrial estate which sites directly behind it.
Development proposals include replacement of the existing shop units, affordable housing operated by Places for People, and post-graduate student residences operated by the University of Edinburgh. In addition the development will include a hotel with a bar restaurant for all to enjoy. Other details include landscaping of the area and opening up a safe and accessible pedestrianised route linking Leith Walk and Pilrig Park.