Infrastructure seen as the road to global city success

Major investment in Edinburgh’s infrastructure – including the trams network – can secure the capital’s future by enabling it to compete internationally as a modern global city, according to a property expert.

Mike Fitzgerald, a real estate partner at law firm HBJ Gateley, said Edinburgh City Council’s decision to fund the expansion of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, with the associated Grade A office space in the adjacent Atria 2 complex, showed foresight and courage.

The Atria Edinburgh was recently unveiled to the market. Attendees at the launch, which included professionals from across Scotland and representatives from the City of Edinburgh Council, were welcomed by chief executive Sue Bruce, and Lord Smith of Kelvin.

The development is already 33% let with two leading financial services occupiers taking space in Atria One.

Investment manager Brewin Dolphin will take 48,000sq ft on levels 5 and 6, and the Green Investment Bank confirmed that it would take 12,000sq ft on level 7. The development marks the completion of The Exchange business district in Edinburgh.

Mr Fitzgerald said similar projects to create top-class business accommodation, such as the Ediston development at 145 Morrison Street, the Tiger scheme at Haymarket Yards, and the Charlotte Square Collection, were part of a trend in office space moving back to the financial services district around Lothian Road following development elsewhere in the city.

Sue Bruce, chief executive of the City of Edinburgh Council said: “Atria Edinburgh provides the city with a competitive advantage in attracting new, and retaining existing, businesses.

This is reflected in the announcement of two new significant tenants prior to completion, which is a huge endorsement for the building and for the city. Mike said: “Property is still a tough place to be at the moment, and that impacts on lots of other things.

How the Atria project lets could be a barometer for the economy of the city and even Scotland as a whole, since businesses need confidence to take space in prime offices.”