Cornelian Asset Managers takes lease at old NTS HQ

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WEALTH adviser Cornelian Asset Managers has become the first tenant to take a lease at the redeveloped former headquarters of the National Trust for ­Scotland in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square.

The investment firm is the second company to occupy properties being developed by Fordell Estates. On Friday, developers completed the ­refurbishment of 9 Charlotte Square. Its tenant, the new private bank Scoban, led by Ray Entwistle, is set to be handed the keys to the townhouse this week.

Fordell Estates acquired the former Wemyss House from the National Trust for £8.8 million in 2009. The company owns all the office buildings on the south side of the square as part of its 19-strong portfolio of 19th-century Unesco World Heritage properties.

There are a further five ­offices in the unit which has seen £12m invested to ­refurbish the buildings. The redevelopment project is due to be complete next month. Cornelian is moving from its offices just around the corner at 21 Charlotte Square and has signed a ten year lease on the new property.

Nick Ball, director of ­Corran Properties, which manages the estate on behalf of Fordell, said: “Charlotte Square is one of Edinburgh’s gems and it is a privilege to be able to revitalise this much-loved location by creating high-quality office accommodation. Our aim is to ­restore the fortunes of the square and return it to its status as one of the top business addresses in Europe. We are pleased to welcome Cornelian as the newest occupier at number 30 and I am sure the company will be very comfortable in its new home.

He said the redevelopment maintained “respect for the character of the Georgian buildings, whilst providing contemporary, office accommodation designed for modern business”.

“It is our goal to change the way businesses in the capital view these properties and bring opinion back into line with those in London where Georgian townhouses are typically seen as the most prestigious office space,” he said.

Jeremy Richardson, chief executive of Cornelian, said: “We were impressed not just by the specification and the working environment opportunity for our staff but the wider vision for the square.

“As a long-standing resident of the Square we already know that clients and contacts welcome the Charlotte Square location.”

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