Square deal points North

June 20th, 2019

Category: press

A once shabby office block has undergone a major redevelopment in the heart of Edinburgh, writes Kirsty McLuckie

Knight Property Group’s redevelopment of 4 North, located on the north-east side of St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, has achieved practical completion, having been handed to tenants Computershare for fitting out.

Purchased in the spring of 2016, the speculative redevelopment has created 41,487sq ft of modern office space in the middle of Edinburgh. During the construction, the property was pre-let to Computershare on a 20-year lease.

The specification features new stonework facades, replacement walling and windows, new mechanical and electrical systems and refurbished interior throughout. Its adjusted layout also includes a penthouse-style top floor offering great views of the Capital’s skyline.

James Barrack, group managing director at Knight, says “4 North has seen Knight Property Group redevelop and transform a tired and unloved property into contemporary and modern office space. We saw the potential the building had, in respect of location and flexibility, and believed this would offer truly fantastic office space for a varied and wide range of companies.

“The property has helped to expand our Central Belt portfolio and we are delighted that Computershare saw the opportunity we were providing for a contemporary office in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre.”

The redevelopment follows on the back of continued expansion by Knight outwith its original base in the North East of Scotland. The 4 North project, Knight’s largest development in central Scotland so far, was awarded Deal of the Year at the 2018 Scottish Property Awards.

Computershare, an Australian stock transfer company which provide corporate trust, stock transfer and employee share plans, has offices worldwide.

Barrack says “It was an office building before and had a selection of tenants, but it was outdated and not energy efficient, so the work has been transformational.”

Seeing pictures of the St Andrew Square building from before, it could also be said that it was a bit of an eyesore and the upgrade is part of the redevelopment of the whole area.

He explains “We spent time in London viewing the latest projects to see the innovations being brought in, what tenants wanted, in terms of internal and external designs and new materials, to make sure that the finished product would be a response to market needs.”

Work started in June 2017 and the deal with Computershare came very shortly afterwards, so the fit-out was tailored to suit its requirements.

Knight plans to retain ownership over the lease, according to Barrack, saying “It’s a prime bit of real estate and we have spent a lot of money on it. The base build that we have carried out means that the building can be tailored to a company’s needs in the future.”

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