Jansons, the niche developer and investor, has topped out it's SoCo development in central Edinburgh. The new £35 million complex will be handed over to it's new occupants in November.
They will include Ibis, who will operate the 257 room hotel, a Sainsbury's foodstore, a night club to be called La Belle Angele, and several other retail units.
Speaking at the topping out party of the SoCo complex, Andy Jansons said while South Bridge enjoyed high footfall, it had failed to attract destination shops.
Councillor Frank Ross, convener of the economy committee, said: “The regeneration of SoCo will bring to an end a ten-year period in which the site has blotted Edinburgh’s historic Old Town.
He said: “I am already surprised how busy South Bridge is to be honest, there’s a big pedestrian flow there.
“A 257-bed hotel is going to bring a lot of people into South Bridge, a lot more people coming down Blair Street and walking up through the middle of the site to get to the hotel.
“I can see more occupiers coming in and using units to serve people [food] in the hotel and giving more hustle and bustle to the area.
“The idea is that we are creating a new little district. It’s going to upgrade South Bridge and, let’s face it, the rest of South Bridge isn’t looking good at the moment.
“To bring two major occupiers in at this end might gentrify this side of South Bridge and bring in some better quality retailers.”
A new pedestrian link between the Cowgate, South Bridge and Chambers Street will be created. It is expected that nearby Hunter Square and Blair Street will reap the rewards of the transformation.
The original La Belle Angele nightclub was destroyed in a massive 4 day blaze in 2002, which destroyed this area of Cowgate. It's former owner Hafid Mahboub said: “We’re delighted with the amount of support we have received, both from the licensing board and from the many people who are keen for us to come back. There’s a lack of quality live music venues in Edinburgh and it’s very difficult to find places to have decent music in contrast to Glasgow.