SoCo, South Bridge/Cowgate, Edinburgh

228 bed hotel with retail and leisure space over 10 levels.

Back in 2002 the largest fire in Edinburgh’s recent history devastated a multi-owned Old Town tenement block straddling South Bridge and Cowgate - many well-known businesses and Fringe venues were made homeless.

Whiteburn painstakingly negotiated to consolidate the ownerships, buying in the 9 freehold interests making up the site, whilst testing the market for a hotel-led multi use development - to be constructed in the sensitive setting of Edinburgh’s Old and New Town UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Working with Allan Murray Architects, we evolved a mix use scheme which made links between South Bridge, Chambers Street and Cowgate – creating a new stepped courtyard, typical of traditional Old Town settings.

After extensive consultation with Historic Scotland, politicians and local interest groups, Whiteburn secured planning and listed buildings consent for a 228 bed hotel with retail and leisure space over 10 levels, before introducing development partner Jansons Properties, who secured the necessary investment to see the development carried out, with Whiteburn as Development Manager - including the reinstatement of the legendary La Belle Angelle.