A major development of luxury short-term apartments on one of Scotland’s famous streets has been recommended for approval.

Plans submitted by Studio LBA for Hunter REIM to bring five underused properties, including one that has been boarded up for 70 years, back into use go before city councillors on Wednesday.

The ÂŁ20 million Princes Street and Hanover Street development will bring 30 serviced apartments across the properties, which include the building leased to Costa.

Hunter REIM and Ruby Hotels are also behind a £100m development further along Princes Street. 

Council planning papers state: "Overall, the development is in accordance with the development plan. The revised scheme will deliver a sustainable and well-designed scheme whilst contributing to climate mitigation and adaptation.

“The proposed works will respect and reinvigorate these listed buildings through sensitive adaptation. The re-purposing of the currently underused spaces above ground floor level will contribute positively to the upkeep of these areas."

The planning officials added:  "The surrounding area has variety of uses, predominantly commercial including shops, offices, hotels, cafes, restaurants, and bars. The area is well served by various sustainable transport modes and networks given its city centre location.

"The application is for the redevelopment and adaptation of the site, bringing it back into active use and proposing 30 serviced apartments. The proposal seeks to adapt the existing properties to provide a connected group of properties accessed via a new primary access at 1 Hanover Street."

Documents read: "This collection of buildings have been vacant for many years, 75 Princes Street was sealed off seventy years ago, resulting in the damage, poor quality alterations."

Studio LBA said: "The applicant, Hunter REIM, an independent real estate investment management company, recently purchased this collection of B Listed buildings on Edinburgh’s prominent Princes Street.

"The buildings are currently in a semi-derelict state internally having laid vacant for many years.

"Hunter REIM are an Edinburgh based business that are invested into ensuring that the proposals respect and enhance the city’s natural and cultural heritage, whilst also providing first class tourist and business users short-term accommodation."

Hunter REIM said: "Our belief in Edinburgh and Princes Street is clear from our other investments in the city, in particular the development of a new 346-bedroom hotel pre-let to Ruby at 104-108 Princes Street and Cameron Toll.

"Our aspiration for this project is to deliver much-needed family-led accommodation and rejuvenate five category B listed buildings which have fallen into extreme states of disrepair.

"This will bring life to abandoned upper floors which contribute little to the city’s vibrance despite their incredibly prominent position with the New Town and remarkable views, as well as preserving the city’s cultural heritage.

"This will be supplemented by full retention and active management of the ground floor retail units, ensuring that the project will meet the needs of Edinburgh’s residents and visitors while respecting and enhancing Edinburgh’s natural and cultural heritage.”

The firm also said: "Hunter REIM is an independent real estate investment management company responsible for managing real estate assets across the UK and headquartered in Edinburgh.

"Our clients include institutional investors, private equity, family offices and high net worth individuals in Europe and North America. The business invests in assets and strategies which it believes will generate superior investor returns in addition to delivering positive economic, environmental and social impacts."

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Private sector business activity in Scotland rose for the third month in a row during March, with the upturn surpassing that for the UK as a whole.

Only London and Northern Ireland recorded stronger gains on the Business Activity Index produced by the Royal Bank of Scotland, but underlying data noted a continued divergence between the services and manufacturing sectors. While services rose at the sharpest pace recorded since June 2022, the downturn in manufacturing production.

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Scottish Engineering traces its origin back to formation in 1865, a timing generally accepted as fairly soon after the start of the first industrial revolution.

Our history records that the founding purpose of an engineering federation of member companies like ours was as a response to the development of labour law (or employment legislation) by building a professional team with expertise to advise and guide companies in their application of the law.