The University of Edinburgh has bought the A-listed Surgical Hospital building at the city’s Quartermile regeneration scheme.
Designed by architect David Bryce, the striking building will be transformed by the university into an “interdisciplinary hub” that will bring together business and public policy to address “societal and environmental challenges”.
Rettie & Co acted for Edinburgh University on the purchase of the 120,000 square foot building, dubbed Q1, and director William Scarlett said the deal was a “win-win for both parties and for the city”.
The sale of the building will also enable Quartermile Developments to build a further phase of residential housing at the city centre site, along with proposed retail and public space on Middle Meadow Walk.
Quartermile managing director Paul Curran said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Quartermile and the city of Edinburgh. The Surgical Hospital is a fundamental part of our development masterplan of 29 buildings. It is a magnificent building which has always been used for teaching, so it is apt that its primary use will be for learning.
“The new university development will integrate Quartermile with one of the world’s most highly regarded academic institutions, making our location a place where business, academia, retail and lifestyle converge.”
University of Edinburgh principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, added: “We are very excited about the acquisition of the old Surgical Hospital and its potential. It will enable us to expand our outstanding teaching facilities and help us consolidate our position as a world-class university that is accessible to the wider community.”
Quartermile, on the site of the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, was acquired by property investor Moorfield in a multi-million pound deal two years ago.
The project, one of Scotland’s largest urban regeneration schemes, is expected to be completed in 2018, providing 1,050 apartments – of which more than 650 are already occupied and another 150 currently being built. It will also include 370,000sq ft of Grade A office accommodation, 65,000sq ft of retail and leisure space and seven acres of open landscaping.
Moorfield chief investment officer Charles Ferguson Davie said the deal with Edinburgh University “further cements Quartermile’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading mixed-use developments”.
He added: “It has been a year of stellar success for Quartermile and we look forward to maintaining that momentum during 2016.”
In July, fantasy sports business FanDuel agreed a deal to take the top three floors of the seven-storey £50 million Quartermile 4 building in a move billed as Edinburgh’s largest pre-letting in more than a decade.