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24.09.14

TIAA Henderson Real Estate appoints new architect to Edinburgh St James scheme

TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate) has announced the appointment of architectural firm Purcell to join the team on the £850m Edinburgh St James mixed-use development in the Scottish Capital’s city centre.

The firm has been instructed to carry out design work on the Mansion Capital building and St Andrews Hall which are both listed. Planning applications are expected to be submitted before the end of the year.

Purcell joins the scheme’s existing architectural team, consisting of Edinburgh’s Allan Murray Architects and BDP, which are responsible for creating the Edinburgh St James masterplan.

Purcell will lead the design for St Andrews Hall and the Mansion Capital block and has been tasked with maintaining the historical character of both buildings, whilst ensuring they suitably align with the overarching look and feel of the new development.

The 1.7 million sq ft Edinburgh St James scheme is one of the largest regeneration projects currently underway in the UK. The redevelopment will see the 1970s shopping centre currently on site replaced with 1 million sq ft of prime retail space, a five-star hotel, up to 250 new homes, restaurants and a digital theatre.

Influenced by the city’s classical geometry of crescents and circuses, Edinburgh St James has been designed to complement Edinburgh’s sophisticated architecture, character and history. The scheme will revolve around an elegant open air galleria street intended to create a series of refined public spaces and squares, providing pedestrians with a smart, unrivalled environment in which to meet, socialise, shop and eat.

Purcell, which has 16 offices throughout the UK, in addition to an office in Hong Kong, boasts a team of over 200 people and is well known for its thoughtful and pragmatic approach. Other projects recently undertaken by the firm include providing the City of London with a conservation management plan for Tower Bridge, London, and carrying out the final phase of a 10 year long restoration programme to reopen Kew Palace to the public.

TH Real Estate has also confirmed it will hold a design competition for the five star hotel it will deliver as part of the development. Architectural firms with suitable experience will be invited to pitch their ideas for the hotel which will be the centre-piece of Edinburgh St James and will provide a luxury offer under a leading brand.

Construction work at Edinburgh St James is expected to start in 2015 with completion scheduled for 2019. It is estimated that, between 2015 and 2040, the redevelopment will support up to 3000 permanent jobs and will add £25 million to the Scottish economy each year.

Martin Perry, Director of Development, TH Real Estate, commented:
"With Allan Murray Architects and BDP laying the architectural foundations for the wider Edinburgh St James scheme, we are pleased to instruct this highly respected firm to provide expertise and specialisms in specific areas. This will help ensure that we maintain the dignity and character of these two important listed buildings as part of the wider development."

About TIAA Henderson Real Estate

TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate) is an established investment management company with specialisation in real estate equity and debt investing worldwide. As one of the largest real estate managers in the world, TH Real Estate has the scale, capital resources and knowledge to provide creative and effective real estate investment solutions for clients. With a focus on the retail, office, logistics, debt and multi-family sectors, TH Real Estate emphasises sustainable practices to protect assets and maximise their value.

Launched in April 2014, the company has a dedicated global presence with offices across Asia and Europe, managing c.$22.6bn of real estate assets across c.50 funds and mandates.

Together, the TIAA-CREF real estate and TH Real Estate platforms represent one of the largest real estate investment management enterprises in the world, with a combined total of c. $71 bn in real estate assets under management.

The company is jointly owned by TIAA-CREF (60%) and Henderson Global Investors (40%) bringing it a combined track record of over 90 years in global real estate. Its products are managed by specialist teams, which apply their own experience to the management and style of their portfolios. Each team is supported by an experienced senior management team and integrated investment platform, including finance, debt and currency management, performance analytics, client service, fund and transaction structuring, development, sustainability and research. www.threalestate.com

* All figures as at 30 June 2014

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