It is the rescue of a listed Georgian building in the Scottish capital that could bring wider benefits.

The proposals for a luxury hotel at the site that was formerly used as a car hire business were put forward by Hackland + Dore Architects.

A planning statement read: "The age of the surrounding context also varies from early 19th century buildings to early 21st century encompassing a variety of extensions, façade retentions, conversions and alterations as to be expected.

"However, it is evident that not all interventions have been sympathetic nor responsive to the building they belong or the context they make up.

"No 10 Picardy has fared rather well over time from an exterior perspective, conversely the interior fabric has been largely lost through the many iterations over the years and the final conversion to a car rental company."

Another view of the siteAnother view of the site (Image: Hackland and Dore Architects)

Other buildings that were used for separate commercial uses are also being transformed. The A-listed Sir Basil Spence and Partners former office block in St Andrew Square is to be a hotel, while across the square, the Dalata Hotel Group, Ireland's biggest hotel operator, is transforming another former office into a hotel.

Developer S Harrison is overhauling a 1970s former office block into “an impressive new 157-bedroom hotel” in the Haymarket area.


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A planning statement for the Picardy Place hotel said: “The site is within Edinburgh’s New Town Conservation Area and Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns World Heritage Site.

“It is within Edinburgh’s ‘theatre district’, approximately 0.6 km from Princes Street, and therefore, has excellent access to a variety of local and national transport facilities within a short walking distance.

“Most significantly, a new ‘gateway’ transport interchange is also under construction opposite the site on Picardy Place which will improve connectivity for pedestrians and provide direct access to bus, tram and cycle facilities that connect across the city and to other transport hubs.”

The building from the frontThe building from the front (Image: Hackland and Dore Architects)

In April, real estate adviser CBRE announced it was marketing 10 Picardy Place, formerly a Hertz car rental office, for sale to transform it into a 51-bedroom apartment hotel.

Chris Dougray, executive director at CBRE, said that it was a “rare chance to secure a consented freehold site in one of the best locations in Edinburgh, one of Europe’s most sought-after tourist destinations”, adding: “It’s the perfect place to stay for those going on shopping or theatre breaks, close to the restaurants and bars of Broughton Street, Edinburgh Playhouse theatre, and the St James Quarter.”

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Mr Dougray also said then: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for a hotelier or hotel group to transform an empty building dating back to the 1800s into a beautiful hotel and revive the historic Georgian frontage, which would not only add to the visual appeal of the area but also create new jobs and attract tourists.”

CBRE also pointed out that Picardy Place is less than a five-minute walk from Princes Street, George Street and Queen Street, and has views of Calton Hill.

The real estate adviser also said: “It is also conveniently located a five-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley train station and it has a tram stop right outside, which allows travel to Edinburgh Airport and Newhaven.”