Lux­ury liv­ing in his­toric build­ing

The Herald - - NEWS - BRIAN DON­NELLY

MORE than 2,000 home­hunters, in­clud­ing hun­dreds of ex­pa­tri­ates based all over the world, are bid­ding to own part of an A-Listed Play­fair masterpiece in Ed­in­burgh.

The first prop­er­ties in the re­vamped for­mer Don­ald­son’s Col­lege are due to go on the mar­ket and res­i­dents are ex­pected to move into the land­mark build­ing near Hay­mar­ket by March.

Prices range from £250,000 for a stu­dio to £1.2 mil­lion for a three­bed­room apart­ment in the mon­u­men­tal structure, which just a few years ago was placed on the Build­ings at Risk Reg­is­ter af­ter pre­vi­ous plans – one of which was turn­ing it into ho­tel – were aban­doned.

A to­tal of 2,200 prospec­tive buy­ers have reg­is­tered with devel­oper City & Coun­try, in­clud­ing Scots from across Europe, the Mid­dle East and Aus­tralia.

Builder Cala bought the site, which is about the size of nine foot­ball pitches, in 2004 for £22m and it is build­ing 84 homes in a cres­cent around the main build­ing.

There will be 400 cy­cle spa­ces for res­i­dents and an un­der­ground car park with about the same num­ber of car bays.

The build­ing, built be­tween 1842 and 1851, was de­signed by En­light­en­ment ar­chi­tect Wil­liam Henry Play­fair in the style of a Ja­cobean palace. For­merly Don­ald­son’s Hospi­tal, it was more re­cently known as the School for the Deaf.

He­len Moore, manag­ing di­rec­tor of City & Coun­try, said the firm was guided by con­ser­va­tion ex­perts and his­toric fea­tures in­clud­ing orig­i­nal join­ery, fire­places, cor­nices and stair­cases re­tained.

Pic­tures: Gor­don Ter­ris

Don­ald­son’s Col­lege in Ed­in­burgh was once a hospi­tal and, more re­cently, a school for the deaf.

Con­ser­va­tion­ists have given guid­ance on re­tain­ing fire­places.

The devel­oper has re­tained his­toric fea­tures in­clud­ing join­ery.

The build­ing was de­signed by Wil­liam Henry Play­fair.

The first lux­ury apart­ments will go on sale later this month.

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