High-profile units on Edinburgh's George Street snapped up in multi-million-pound deal

Three prominent retail and office buildings on Edinburgh’s George Street have been sold in a multi-million-pound deal described as showing faith in the city’s shopping sector, and defying the “gloom” recently associated with retail overall.

Broadlands Properties has acquired 86, 88, and 90-92 George Street from a client of CBRE Investment Management, with the transaction brokered between commercial property consultancy Knight Frank and agency CuthbertWhite. While the sale price was not confirmed, the properties were marketed for around £15 million.

Hackett, outdoor clothing company Rohan, menswear retailer Xile, The White Company, and Gant operate from the ground floor units, totalling more than 17,800 square feet of retail space, with the offices above occupied by architecture practice Kettle Collective, private investment group Grayling Capital, and fintech firm Praemium among others.

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The deal also includes two adjoining buildings, 72 and 74 Rose Street North Lane, which were marketed for redevelopment. The former is currently vacant, while the latter is partially occupied by a firm of solicitors.

Knight Frank believes interest in George Street has defied concerns about the health of retail, with eight of the 11 leases recently made available there taken up by occupiers. Earlier this year, the consultancy found that, before the opening of the St James Quarter, Edinburgh had the most productive retail space of any UK city outside London.

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Euan Kelly, partner at Knight Frank, said: “There was a high level of interest in the George Street assets, despite the well-publicised challenges the retail sector has faced in recent years. They were originally marketed as four separate properties, but it says a lot about the buyer’s confidence in Edinburgh retail that they have decided to acquire all of them together.

“Edinburgh city centre has strong fundamentals from both a retail and office perspective, with limited supply and a sustained high level of demand… George Street in particular has held up better than many people would have thought.”

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Broadlands Properties has acquired 86, 88, and 90-92 George Street from a client of CBRE Investment Management. Picture: contributed.

Stephen Kay of CuthbertWhite said: “Broadland Properties Ltd is a family-run office with existing holdings on George St. The company sees long-term value in this location and is planning a comprehensive refurbishment of the asset… Many of the current retail occupiers have been in occupation for in excess of 25 years, and will be assisting with the ongoing letting strategy of the soon-to-be refurbished office accommodation.”

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