Sneak preview as over 2000 bid for slice of Edinburgh landmark Donaldson’s

Sneak preview as over 2000 bid for slice of Edinburgh landmark Donaldson’s College MORE than 2,000 home-hunters including hundreds of ex pats based all over the world are bidding to own a part of an A-Listed Playfair masterpiece in the Scottish capital.
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The first properties in the revamped former Donaldson’s College are due to go on the market and residents expected to move into the landmark building near Haymarket by March.

Prices range from £250,000 for a studio to £1.2m for a three-bedroom 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 a hotel – were abandoned.

A total of 2,200 have registered with developer City & Country including Scots from across Europe, the Middle East and Australia for the first dibs on the 112 flats and two lodges thought to be worth a total of more than £50m.

Those registered with the developer will be able to make offers on properties this month and the properties will go on the wider market when it officially launches to the public in early February.
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.

The cascading south lawn that faces Wester Coates will be kept as a landscaped feature. There will be 400 cycle spaces for residents and an underground car park with about the same number of car bays.

The building was designed by Enlightenment architect William Henry Playfair in the style of a Jacobean palace.

Playfair is considered one of the greatest architects of the 19th century, and was the designer of many of the neo-classical landmarks in the city such as the National Gallery and Royal Scottish Academy.

Formerly Donaldson’s Hospital, it was more recently known as the College for the Deaf. It was built between 1842 and 1851 after its newspaper editor benefactor James Donaldson bequeathed all of his wealth to found a hospital for children after his death.

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His legacy continues and Donaldson’s School for the Deaf is now based in Linlithgow. 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.

She said: “This is a major development in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End, which is set to become one of the most sought-after addresses the Scottish capital has on offer.

“After having lain empty for so many years, it is wonderful to see this iconic building being brought back into beneficial use, for both current and future generations to enjoy.”

Simon Rettie, managing director or Rettie & Co, the Edinburgh property firm marketing the homes, said the interest in the project was exceptional. He said: “Donaldson’s is such a high profile building within Edinburgh and forms an important part of its history.”

 
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