Caltongate - 'It's a golden opportunity for the
Published Date: 31 January 2011
Just when we feared Caltongate might start rivalling Greenside Place, Castle Terrace and all those other past contenders to be Edinburgh's longest-running gap-site, fresh hope arrives that building work might finally begin.Canadian investors are said to be keen to pick up the existing plans to turn the ugly hole in the ground into a hotel, shops and homes.
That is fantastic news at a time when every city in the UK is crying out for someone - anyone - with the financial muscle to make something happen on this scale.
Thanks to the imminent £850 million reinvention of the St James Centre, the Caltongate site is the last remaining major blight on our city centre.
We know that restrictive lending by Britain's high street banks means there will be few, if any, UK investors ready to step into the breach if for any reason this deal cannot be sealed.
One of the potential sticking points is understood to be the Bank of Scotland's understandable reluctance to write off too much of the £74m it is owed following the collapse of previous Caltongate developer Mountgrange.
The bank has its own pressures to deal with of course, and it is presumably too much to hope that the wider interests of its home city will remain important to its thinking.
But this is a golden opportunity for Edinburgh which would reap dividends across the city. As such, it is one we might all regret letting pass if we do not grab it with both hands.
Here is their propaganda trying to convince themselves and others Rescue Mission to save Caltongate and Canadian Investor blah blah