New builds: Beauty and style in Donaldson development

The category A-listed Playfair at Donaldson’s, in the Capital’s highly-desirable West Coates area, is one of the city’s most important landmark buildings.

The Playfair at Donaldsons development in Edinburgh. Picture: Alix McIntosh
The Playfair at Donaldsons development in Edinburgh. Picture: Alix McIntosh

Designed by renowned Edinburgh architect William Henry Playfair and built in the 1840s, the former school created by publisher James Donaldson has been transformed into an exclusive collection of high-end properties.

There are a range of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes available to buy, with prices ranging between £415,000 and £1,525,000.

As well as the grand architecture, the properties’ close proximity to one of the world’s largest financial centres and Edinburgh’s World Heritage sites is particularly appealing for those seeking properties to let.

The Playfair at Donaldsons development in Edinburgh

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Leila Yan, whose family own several properties across the UK, including in London and Manchester, recently purchased a one-bedroom apartment.

“I am based in Manchester and my family often come to the UK from China to visit me,” she says. “We own several properties here in the UK and have a good knowledge of what rents well, so we were keen to ensure our new investment was in a good location and ticked a lot of boxes for tenants – as well as for us if we decided to stay or live there in the future.”

She adds: “There wasn’t much choice in our price range in London, and we were really looking for something with the ‘wow factor’, so we began to consider other cities to diversify our portfolio. We were familiar with Edinburgh’s appeal, and as the second largest financial centre in the UK and the second most visited tourist destination after London, it made a lot of business sense.”

Just moments away from Haymarket station, The Playfair is set amidst 16 acres of private grounds. Having been extensively restored by property developer City & Country, the building is now one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious addresses.

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The Playfair at Donaldsons development in Edinburgh. Picture: Nick Callaghan Photography

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Currently available is the north-facing, central penthouse apartment, priced at £1,525,000. It boasts a triple-tier terrace and its own tower turret, accessed from the living area.

The entrance opens to an open-plan dining, living and kitchen space, which features an island with Corian worktops and engineered oak flooring. There are two double bedrooms to one side, with ample storage, and a bathroom, while the ensuite master bedroom with dressing room is to the other.

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To the front of the building are the chapel apartments housed in one of the former college’s most dramatic and striking spaces. Each features original carefully-restored stained glass windows, period features and are across three floors.

The Playfair at Donaldsons development in Edinburgh. Picture: Chris Humphrey's Photography

A three-bedroom apartment is available from £925,000. The one-bedroom apartments 78 and 64 are priced from £415,000 and £425,000 respectively.

Residents have access to a concierge service and communal spaces, including the boutique Club Room and Chapel Room, as well as the internal courtyard. The development also has allocated car parking and 16 acres of impressive private parkland.

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For more details, call 0131-341 5102.

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