Proposals for refurbished Calton Square office building to go on display

POSTED ON February 14, 2024 BY James Garry

The vision for the refurbishment is to create a best-in-class office building,


The public is to be given the chance to share views on the proposed refurbishment of the Calton Square office building, located at the top of Leith Walk (artist’s impression of the refurbished building attached).

Being promoted by Ardstone Capital, appointed as development managers, the current occupier of the building is set to move out in April 2025. The vision for the refurbishment is to create a best-in-class office building, comparable to the best in Europe with the lowest possible carbon footprint.

Fronting onto Leith Street, Greenside Row (the pedestrian street along the Omni frontage) and Greenside Place, the building, which dates from the 1990s, needs updating and no longer meets technical standards and occupier requirements. The proposed refurbishment will also help address a chronic under-supply of top-quality Grade A office space in the capital.

To refurbish the building will require significant remodelling and intervention, replacing many elements of the existing asset including windows, façade, lifts and entrances. However, as much of the structure will be retained as possible, including the frame, with materials re-used where possible and natural stone used where appropriate.

Sustainability and net zero objectives have been established as a key consideration, delivering first class energy and environmental performance standards, with best in class Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) ratings. The current green roofscape and gardens will be enhanced, with a courtyard or atrium space provided in the centre of the building.

Car parking will be reduced and additional cycle storage and changing facilities will be provided. Accessible by foot, cycling, tram, buses and train, the refurbished building will bring significant benefits to the immediate locality, complementing the surrounding retail, commercial and residential properties.

The cost of such works will be significant and will need to be balanced by the creation of some additional usable space that provides the most efficient future use and a viable economic return. This includes providing additional accommodation without increasing the existing maximum height of the building.

Whilst not formally classed as a major development and therefore not requiring statutory consultation prior to the submission of a planning application, proper engagement with the public and other key groups is important for the asset owner and the public given the building’s prominent location in the city centre.

An informal public consultation event is therefore taking place on Tuesday 20th February, between 3pm and 7pm at St Paul’s & St George’s Church Hall, York Place Edinburgh EH1 3RH. A website with details of the refurbishment is also available at:

Commenting on this, Craig McDonald, Principal and Managing Director of Ardstone Capital UK, acting as development manager on behalf of the owner and its advisory team, said:

“While occupying a top-grade location, the existing building no longer provides office space that suits current occupier requirements and fails to meet current statutory requirements in several important areas. It also fails to engage with or contribute to the street life and immediate surroundings.

“Our proposals aim to address these issues and deliver an office building comparable to the best in Europe with the lowest possible carbon footprint. In addition, it will address the recognised demand for top quality office space in the capital while making an important contribution to the city.

“We urge the local community to come and share their views on our proposals.”

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