TH Real Estate has announced two major pre-let deals with Next and Everyman Cinemas at Edinburgh St James, representing a significant milestone for the 1.7 million sq ft (157,935 sq m) scheme, which is one of the largest retail-led regeneration projects currently underway in the UK.
High street fashion brand, Next, which sells clothing, footwear and home products, has signed to take a 50,000 sq ft (4,645 sq m) Scottish flagship store at Edinburgh St James. The popular British retailer will be one of 85 new shops over four floors at the scheme, which will comprise 850,000 sq ft (78,967 sq m) of retail space in total, anchored by John Lewis.
Edinburgh St James will help move Edinburgh further up the UK retail rankings, from 13th to eighth, with Next’s store adding significant calibre to the city’s existing retail offer.
In addition, Everyman Cinemas will debut its first Scottish cinema at the mixed-use scheme when it opens in 2020. Located in the centre of Edinburgh St James, the 17,300 sq ft (1,607 sq m) boutique cinema will have five screens. Unlike conventional multiplexes, it will feature indulgent sofa seating, food and beverage service delivered to customers’ seats, a stylish bar and a private screening lounge, which will be available for hire.
Edinburgh is renowned for its year-round arts and culture offering, which the Everyman Cinema will complement. The ‘ultra-luxury’ cinemas are well-known for the high calibre of avant garde films and events that they screen, including high-profile sports, dance and theatre, as well as ‘baby club’ film showings for parents and young children
Martin Perry, Director of Development for TH Real Estate commented: “We are delighted that Everyman Cinemas and Next will be key occupiers of Edinburgh St James when it opens, enhancing the overall experience for visitors to the scheme. The Scottish debut of Everyman Cinemas, alongside the deal for a Scottish flagship store with such a respected retailer as Next, is a testament to the appeal of the development. We hope to announce more brands that want to expand their portfolio at the scheme soon.”
Crispin Lilly, CEO for Everyman Cinemas, added: “We are truly excited to be launching the first Everyman Cinema in Edinburgh, and indeed in Scotland. We love becoming a part of the community and look forward to offering a great night out for our guests to indulge in cinema, from all films big and small to live events and festivals.”
Cllr Gavin Barrie, Economy Convener, City of Edinburgh Council, said: "I am delighted that following work starting recently on this much anticipated £1bn development, TH Real Estate is now in a position to start announcing future tenants. The cinema will the first of its kind in Scotland and as such will be a great draw and will add to Edinburgh's already strong and varied cultural offering.
"The Council and the Scottish Government have both been instrumental in helping the developer, TH Real Estate, to reach this important milestone. This project will undoubtedly transform the East End of Princes Street, creating up to 3,000 permanent jobs in the retail and service sector, and is one of the largest inward investments to Scotland this year."
A world-class example of city-enhancing place making, Edinburgh St James will also deliver 20 restaurants alongside the retail offer, three new public squares, 150 private apartments and 1,600 car parking spaces. The scheme will also be home to Scotland’s first luxury W Hotel, comprising 214 rooms and featuring a unique façade crafted from a winding steel ‘ribbon’.
Last month it was announced that the joint investment partnership between TH Real Estate and APG was finalised. This coincided with the start of demolition of the St James Centre to make way for the new development. John Lewis will continue to trade throughout the construction process.