Red letter day as refurbished building opens onto Leith Walk

Fife Hyland (left) with council leader Cammy Day

THE leader of the City of Edinburgh Council has officially opened Drum Property Group’s ‘Red Sandstone’ building following a major refurbishment project.

The two-storey building extends from 106 to 154 Leith Walk and provides open-plan first floor business suites housed above a row of shops, cafes, restaurants and a bar and arts venue.

The opening of the building is tipped to capitalise on renewed interest in the area following the launch of the new tramline connecting Edinburgh city centre with the port of Leith and Newhaven.

All 10 of the street-level retail units have been fully let, with more than two-thirds of the first-floor office suites occupied by a range of SME businesses. Tenants include Hobz Bakery, Cornelius Wines, Middle Eastern street food restaurant Sharawama, vintage clothing store Rhinestone Cowboys, Chorrito Sauce Company, pizzeria San Ciro’s and Zoomo, the E-bike sales and hire service. They join Leith Depot, an established bar, restaurant and music venue which has been based at the location since 2015 and has now signed a new lease expanding the venue and extending its stay.

The Red Sandstone forms a gateway to Drum’s £50 million transformation of the 2.9-acre Stead’s Place site, which will bring 148 new homes to the rear of the development linking Leith Walk to Pilrig Park when complete next year.

Council leader Cammy Day said, “With the tram service up and running, the regeneration of this section of Leith Walk couldn’t come at a better time. Drum was able to work closely with the community to revise their plans while creating this scheme and the result is a thriving and creative space. The existing occupiers and new units are clearly receiving lots of footfall already, which is great to see.”

Fife Hyland, Drum’s operation director, added. “After a long period of community consultation and refurbishment, it’s testament to the revival of Leith Walk that the Red Sandstone building is now fully operational and buzzing with activity. With the tram now open and Leith Walk coming back to its bustling best, the building is set to fulfil its potential as a distinctive focal point and destination for the area.

“We have been hugely encouraged with the high levels of occupier interest in the retail units, which are now all fully let, and in the office spaces above – of which we only have a few remaining suites available. The vibrant retail parade has a diverse range of independent traders including shops, cafés, restaurants and the ever-popular Leith Depot bar and arts venue, whilst the sympathetically restored office suites have proved very popular as a small business location in the diverse and dynamic community of Leith.

“The refurbished Red Sandstone building is now well set to play a key role in promoting the rich tradition of diversity and independence which makes Leith such an exciting destination in which to live, work and visit.”