Belfast Telegraph

Deramore Property sells Edinburgh hotel site for £34m

By Heather McGarrigle

A Belfast-based property firm has sold a retail and hotel complex in Scotland for over £34m.

Deramore Property Group's development on Edinburgh's Princes Street, in the heart of the city's tourist district, will house a New Look store and a Premier Inn hotel.

Deramore sold the investment for over £34m to German institutional clients of La Salle Investment Management.

New Look started trading in its new premises on February 24, with the hotelier opening its Princes Street doors on March 5.

The 30,000 sq foot retail store had been pre-let on a 20-year lease, with the 97-bed hotel signing a similar agreement - lease lengths described by the developer as "increasingly rare in the current economic climate".

The developers bought the site. which had been unused for over 10 years, in 2008. Two years ago it was announced the Belfast firm had awarded the construction contract to fellow Northern Ireland company Gilbert Ash.

Deramore director Darren Lonergan said: "We secured planning for a major new retail store on the lower floors and a hotel on the upper floors.

"This is the first new hotel to be constructed on Princes Street for over 50 years and enjoys stunning views over Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle.

"Princes Street is a UN designated world heritage site and new developments are both extremely rare and highly complex to procure. We are delighted to have developed a new and efficient building which fully matches the requirement of modern occupiers.

"We have also retained a listed building on Princes Street and recycled much of the original stonework within the new build."

"The development was fully prelet to two prime, household tenants for terms of approximately 20 year without break.

"Such leases are increasingly rare in the current economic climate, which was reflected in the depth of investor interest at completion."

The developers say the sale has allowed them to focus on further developments.

They recently awarded Gilbert Ash the building contract for a £2m development, also in Edinburgh.

The new Shandwick Place project will create a Sainsbury's Local store with 11 apartments on the upper floors.

Work began on site this month and is due to be completed in October.