Donaldson's College site sales over £7m - 6 months before buyers can get on site

The Edinburgh-based housebuilder behind a prestigious new residential project 'unlike any other development in Scotland' says sales have reached seven figures six months before it expects the first on-site visitors.

The new Donaldson flats

The Crescent by Cala Homes (East) is a “sweeping glass-fronted curve” of 84 luxury flats in the grounds of the city’s former Donaldson’s ­College, set within the Edinburgh New Town Unesco World Heritage Site.

It has seen sales reach £7.7 million.

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Exclusive first look at interiors of new Donaldson's flats

The first phase of 11 homes is priced from £599,000 to £1,925,000, and Cala said the Richard Murphy-designed development is likely to see its sales reception and showhomes ready for on-site visits at the end of the year.

Cala said it has secured eight reservations off-plan from a sales office in a luxury city-centre hotel. “In addition, ­further sales look likely to be confirmed in the coming weeks,” the housebuilder said.

Phillip Hogg, sales and marketing director for CALA Homes (East), said: “This is unlike any other development in Scotland, showcasing the finest of modern and historic architecture the country has to offer in a way that is shaped around the quality of life within the homes.

“We’d urge those interested to book an appointment as soon as possible, as we’re experiencing extremely high demand and interest – despite being months away from an on-site launch.”

It follows news that Edinburgh has the second-fastest selling times in the UK for properties priced over £1m, almost twice as fast as the national average of 99 days.

Hogg added: “Now really is a great time to be buying a ­premium home in Edinburgh, as the city is becoming globally renowned as a property hotspot.

“The Unesco status of the New Town is testament to the importance of this part of the city, and being located where we are with The Crescent, with the famous architecture that surrounds us, we knew we had a duty to get it right.”

Construction started on The Crescent last summer, including substantial excavations to create an underground car park.

Cala Homes and Evans Property Group recently announced that they had secured a £21m joint funding package from Barclays to help deliver phase one of The ­Crescent.

They said marketing of the first release of properties had already generated a “substantial amount of interest” from local and overseas markets.

The building of Donaldson’s started in 1842, after local newspaper publisher James Donaldson bequeathed his estate to establish a hospital for children after his death.

It was designed by renowned architect William Henry Playfair, whose other landmark buildings in Edinburgh include the Scottish National Gallery on The Mound.

Cala said the design of the new development is “sympathetic to its surroundings in Edinburgh’s New Town”.

Cala Group said in January that it had increased its annual building target and was on track to deliver its sixth consecutive year of record revenues and profits after a strong first half. The business reported a year-on-year jump of more than a third in total home completions to 939 in the six months to 31 December.