APG & TH Real Estate investing £ 1 billion at St James Centre project in Edinburgh

Published on: 26 October 2016

The pioneering redevelopment of the St James Centre in Edinburgh will immediately start by deal between TH Real Estate and APG. APG takes a 75% share in the shopping and leisure center will have a total area of over 150,000 m2. TH Real Estate remains in the name of UK Shopping Centre Fund owns the remaining 25% share. TH Real Estate will simply continue its role as a developer and asset manager of the project. Work will begin immediately with the construction. This involves one of the largest urban development projects of UK private sector.


The joint venture is committed to the development of the St James Centre. This will require an investment expected to be valued at over GBP 1 billion. The project represents for Scotland one of the largest foreign investment this year.


Example of quality 

St James Centre is an excellent example of a project that improves the quality of the city. The center contains nearly 80,000 m2 of retail space. The main anchors are the John Lewis department store, a cinema complex and a branch of the renowned W Hotel with 214 rooms. For the chain means the introduction to the Scottish market. The complex contains 150 apartments, which offer breathtaking views of the city and which should become the new standard for premium apartments. The complex was designed by Allan Murray Architects and will increase Edinburgh on the list of Britain's most popular shopping cities in place 13 to seat 8. The tourism industry, which is an amount estimated annual GBP 260 million contribution to the economy of Edinburgh, will get an extra boost. St James Centre will continue to provide around 3,000 new permanent jobs.


Immediate start construction

Laing O'Rourke, the past year as a consultant was hired to advise on the preparatory construction work is now designated as the main contractor for the project. The shopping and leisure area will be completed in 2020, followed by the overall completion in 2021. Now the partnership for joint investment is clinched, the way is clear to begin construction. First, the existing St James Shopping Centre will be demolished, the old shopping center dates back to the sixties and after 40 years of activity now finally closed its doors. John Lewis, one of the anchor points of the new center, however, keeps the doors open during the entire construction phase. Work on site started on 17 October. Expected that the demolition will take approximately 18 months.


Myles White, Director of Retail at TH Real Estate, explains: "We are pleased that we continue to shape our existing relationship with APG. We have spent the last eight years a very strong and successful relationship with APG and may try to work together on this exceptional project. With APG we also see on behalf of our investors in the UK Shopping Centre Fund forward to a long partnership in the framework of this investment. We believe this will be a new milestone for the future of the retail sector, both in the UK and abroad.


Robert-Jan Foortse, head of European investment at APG, said: "The Edinburgh St James project is one of the largest and most important redevelopment projects in the UK. We are delighted that we can be part of these plans, which will transform the heart of Edinburgh city center via a new shopping destination and strengthen. Furthermore, we believe that the presence of a W Hotel will help attract more tourists to this Unesco world heritage city."


Keith Brown, Scottish Minister for Economy, Employment and Honest Work: "The Scottish Government is very pleased with this huge investment in Edinburgh and Scotland. The project will have a very positive impact on the construction industry, employment and the economy. I am particularly pleased that the Scottish Government through with Scottish Futures Trust and the City of Edinburgh is committed to work together to accelerate growth model, may contribute to the release of this investment. In this way, substantial amounts of money are injected simultaneously and the risk exposure for the church. I am also very excited about the plans for a training to help ensure that the positive impact of the investment on employment and education is spread as widely as possible. "