Gyle land sells for £5m more than advertised

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GROWING confidence in Scotland’s commercial property market has been underlined after development land at the Gyle in Edinburgh was sold for 50 per cent more than expected.

A 60,000 sq ft building and 48-acre plot to the south of the development were sold for £15 million, well above the £10m which specialist agency Jones Lang Lasalle had expected when it invited offers last year.

The property belonged to New Edinburgh Limited, a joint venture between the city council and property developer Miller Group that fell into administration.

Cameron Stott, the director at Jones Lang Lasalle, said more than 20 parties had bid for the lot, including property firms and sovereign wealth funds.

He said: “We had a lot of interest in this opportunity, which reflects how the commercial property market has come back, and how active Edinburgh Park has been.”

Stott said rising prices in Edinburgh city centre – and the fact that the capital’s long-awaited trams will stop at the business park and shopping centre – meant investors and tenants were increasingly looking to the Gyle.

Edinburgh’s tram line will have three stops at the Gyle, including the shopping centre and business park, when it finally becomes operational next year.

In recent months, pensions and benefits firm JLT Employee Benefits and Sainsbury’s Bank are among those that have secured offices in the area.

The buyer of the former New Edinburgh lot, thought to be investment firm Para­bola, is not expected to develop the land immediately, although outline planning permission already exists for offices.

Stott said the new owner would probably “pause for breath” and review the situation given the new surge of interest in the park, before making any decisions on ­development.

New Edinburgh Limited was set up in 1990 to build the Edinburgh Park office development. It was responsible for the construction of 1.3 million sq ft of office space but when it collapsed it owed Lloyds Banking Group about £19m in loans. The land and offices were its only assets.