A LANDMARK neo-classical building in the centre of the Edinburgh which was sold off after the estate of former Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov was seized is to be turned into a restaurant and shopping hub.

The former Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in St Andrew Square, which the mogul reportedly bought for £20 million, was among the assets to be auctioned off by Lithuanian administrators after his financial collapse.

The Chris Stewart Group, the Edinburgh-based property developer and investment business responsible for the award-winning regeneration of Advocate's Close in the city's Old Town, bought 42 St Andrew Square and the adjoining building on West Register Street for an undisclosed sum. The 1942 listed building on the south-east corner of one of Edinburgh's famous Georgian squares has been empty for over seven years and was recently added to the 'at risk' register.

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Chris Stewart said: "We see tremendous scope for a vibrant mixed use development that will add a new dynamic to the area around West Register Lanes with good street level activity and world class hotel and office accommodation."