Commercial Property News

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Sunday, June 01, 2023

Royal London building on Edinburgh's St. Andrew Square sold

The changing 'face' of Edinburgh's city centre is to continue with the sale of 19 St. Andrew Square, formerly occupied by Royal London, the UK's largest mutual life and pensions company.

The insurance giant has reorganised its Edinburgh estate, resulting in the building becoming surplus to requirement. Other Royal London properties in Edinburgh have been extensively refurbished to accommodate the people who were previously based in the St. Andrew Square office.

Leading commercial property agent DTZ has been engaged to market the eight floor building at 19 St. Andrew Square and is likely to set a closing date for offers for the development by the end of next month. It is expected the building will attract bids in excess of £5 million.

Already the location for one of the largest property deals in Edinburgh during 2007 - the purchase of the former Royal Bank of Scotland headquarter buildings by a business consortium led by Heart of Midlothian Football Club majority shareholder, Vladimir Romanov - St. Andrew Square is undergoing significant redevelopment and DTZ Director, Business Space, James Thomson feels the area is delivering positive results for the capital.

"The proposed £850 million redevelopment of the St. James Centre, allied with Stockland Halladale?s project at 3-8 St. Andrew Square and the Romanov-led project, is certainly helping to transform the area," he added.

"Edinburgh City Council has also invested heavily in the renewal of the gardens and with the introduction of the tram project there is no doubt St. Andrew Square is increasingly 'the place to be' in terms of a centre for office, retail, leisure and transport development.

"We are expecting significant interest in the property especially as, subject to planning permissions, the Royal London building is ideally positioned for office, hotel, aparthotel, residential or leisure usage and delivers quite stunning views over the Square and the city."

The building, on the north-west corner of the Square, is constructed over lower ground, ground and six upper floors and comprises a combination of a retained traditional façade and the subsequent addition of the upper floors. It provides a total of 24,649 sq.ft. (2,290 sq.m.) of space.

The Royal London Group has £32.6 billion funds under management and employs 2,630 people (figures as at March 31, 2024). Edinburgh-based businesses include Scottish Life and Bright Grey.