‘Colonies’ housing plan beside Ocean Terminal in Leith takes shape

DETAILED plans have been lodged for a 425-home development on wasteland opposite Ocean Terminal.

CALA Management wants to build flats, colonies-style properties and townhouses at the former industrial dockland site in Leith – transforming a long-neglected corner of the Capital.

Plans Submitted for Exciting Leith Development Highly anticipated proposals for a development with the potential to positively transform the Leith docklands have been submitted by a renowned Edinburgh developer. CALA Management has put forward its plans for Waterfront Plaza, following engagement with the widely supportive local community – leading to notable amendments in order to provide a project that can have the optimum positive impact on the local area. The 425 home development will provide a range of one, two and three bedroom apartments, colonies, studios and townhouses on brownfield land in Leiths former docklands, opposite Ocean Terminal. Forming part of the engagement process, more than 150 people attended a recent exhibition to discuss and feedback on the project. Although 70% of respondents supported the principle of residential led development on the site, there were some concerns regarding the loss of green space and proposed density.

Dubbed “Waterfront Plaza”, bosses say the scheme will boost the local economy and bring “social benefits and prosperity to Leith and Newhaven”.

As well as housing, proposals include a pedestrianised “public realm” area linking the Shore to Ocean Terminal, as well as a “cafe building” overlooking Victoria dock.

Craig Lynes, land director at CALA Homes, said the blueprints would help kickstart development in Leith.

He said: “Having engaged with the local community, businesses and key stakeholders to help shape this exciting development, we are proud to be able to offer a project that strikes a real balance.

“Leith has been transformed over the past 30 years. However, progress has slowed. It is clear that there is a demand for a range of high-quality properties to include desirable apartments and family homes in the area. This development not only helps address the substantial shortfall in housing that typifies the Edinburgh property market, but it will also provide excellent affordable housing in a project with high-
quality design appropriate to the waterfront location.”

He added: “It has been evident through our engagement with local stakeholders that there is a real willingness to positively engage and support the redevelopment of the site.

“With the nearby Leith Cruise Liner Terminal attracting an increase in visitors, the phrase ‘Linger Longer in Leith’ was used with an emphasis in supporting local business and wider regeneration of Leith. “We believe the residential-led proposal at Waterfront Plaza has a key role to play in this.”

Bosses said more than 150 people had attended a recent exhibition to discuss the project – with 70 per cent of respondents supporting the principle of residential development on the site.

They argued the proposals would “further embody CALA’s commitment to developing on brownfield sites in central Edinburgh”, including high-profile projects at Boroughmuir High School and Donaldsons.

The final plans for the docklands include 230 one, two and three-bed apartments, as well as 27 colonies, 27 studio flats, 35 townhouses and affordable housing.

If the blueprints are given the go-ahead, CALA hopes to start work on site in early 2017.

The scheme comes on the back of plans by Ocean Terminal and Holder Planning to build a towering, 28-storey hotel beside the existing shopping centre.

Via Edinburgh Evening News.

Video communications firm zoom in on new office

A real-time video networking business has become the latest tenant to move into sought after office space in Leith.

Ajenta has taken a 5,200 sq. ft. suite at Commercial Quay, becoming the fourth new tenant to move to the property within the last 12 months following Royal Haskoning, Inova Geophysical and Duthus Technologies.

The property, which is located in the heart of Leith’s commercial district between Ocean Terminal and The Shore, is a fantastic former bonded warehouse offers a number of high profile leisure and restaurants on the ground floor including the Michelin starred The Kitchen with a range of refurbished office suites on the upper floors.

John Wilson, CEO of Ajenta, said: “Commercial Quay will serve as a great base to develop and grow our business. It’s a substantial move for us to a much bigger space and the location of the suite in the middle of Leith’s rejuvenated commercial area was crucial in us making the decision to move here.”

Bilfinger GVA and Ryden advised Blackstone, the owners of Commercial Quay, while Ajenta were unrepresented.

Peter Fraser of Bilfinger GVA said: “Ajenta will be the latest tenants to move into a property that’s becoming something of a Leith hub for tech companies. The prime location and amenities Leith offer goes without saying and we are seeing renewed interest in the area as the market conditions in the city centre make it difficult for many businesses to find affordable space.”

“Currently, there are suites between 1,750 – 7,200 sq. ft. available at Commercial Quay and we are speaking with a number of different parties at this time.”