The scheme is one of Edinburgh’s biggest commercial development projects in the last 10 years. It has been forecast that this development has the potential to create 3,500 jobs while boosting the building trades.
Agreement has now been reached with Network Rail to start preparatory works as early as December on the railway tunnels beneath the site.
This will take approximately 12 months with disruption to rail users kept to a minimum as the works will take place at night when rail services have ended.
The Haymarket has full planning consent for 404,000 sq. ft. of office accommodation and 60,000 sq. ft. of commercial and leisure space, together with a 165-bedroom hotel and a 320-space underground car park.
Tenants already signed up for the initial development phase include Q Park, Tesco and serviced apartments provider Staycity. Food chains Prezzo and Pret A Manger are already committed to the second phase of the scheme.
Interserve’s Development Director David Westwater said: “This agreement with Network Rail to start work on the site represents a significant milestone for one of Edinburgh’s last remaining gap sites.
“We are looking forward to completing the underground works during 2014, allowing for above-ground construction to start in early 2015.
“We are looking forward to starting what we believe to be one of the best city centre development schemes to be found anywhere in the UK right now.”
On-site construction is set to start in spring next year, with the first buildings’ phase earmarked for completion in 2016.