The old historic port of Leith went through a dramatic transformation in the late nineteen eighties and nineteen nineties as the old bars and cafes changed dramatically into the bistros and restaurants that the area is now famous for.
The large brooding empty warehouses and former whisky bonds were a bit more of a challenge and only the most intrepid of developers stepped up. Andrew Borthwick, though his vehicle Waverley Properties, the forerunner to Glasgow Edinburgh Developments Limited led the way with a series of innovative office and residential conversions.
In Maritime Street off Bernard Street he assembled a patchwork of old buildings and a cleared site to create some 20,000 square feet of offices, a mini film studio and a development of forty flats which were sold to Quality Street Ltd who at the time, with the support of the Nationwide Building Society were setting out to build a national brand name in letting of apartments.
The offices in Maritime Street were kept and managed by Glasgow Edinburgh Development’s associated company Avonpeak Limited where they remain very popular with leading architects, PR companies and media specialists.
Andrew Borthwick repeated this formula on several site assemblages within the old port area to successfully complement the burgeoning bar and restaurant scene.