Scarlett makes his consultancy debut with the launch of two high-profile office developments

Will Scarlett, the former director of land, development and residential investment at Edinburgh-based estate agency Rettie & Co, has launched his own consultancy with two significant office developments.

Scarlett’s eponymous firm will consult on land and development deals, and in part, will continue to work with Rettie & Co on a number of existing development sites and land along the East Coast of Scotland.

Scarlett is kicking-off his solo career by selling Forth House and Playfair House, jointly with Rettie & Co, a pair of connected office buildings in Edinburgh city centre, on behalf of a London-based property fund.

Forth House, currently occupied by Forth Radio, is a category B listed townhouse located on Forth Street, while Playfair House is a modern office development on Broughton Street Lane and is currently occupied by Curo Compensation, the Humanist Society, Social Investment Scotland and Wallace Whittle.

Headon Developments is currently building 11 terraced mews houses on the lane, filling a gap site left behind by a former warehouse that was previously used as a car park.  Scarlett previously sold this site for the same fund while working at Rettie & Co.

The new company is also jointly marketing a number of land deals including the former Forth Bridges Hotel site in South Queensferry, consented for up to 125 residential houses, the Touchill Farm development at Plean, which has planning consent for 167 units, and the Broich Road site in Crieff, which has consent for more than 300 units.

Another prime site for sale is Beechmount House, a mansion house in Edinburgh’s Corstorphine area set in eight acres with planning permission for a hotel.

Will Scarlett, director of Scarlett Land and Development, said:  “After more than 15 years running the land and development team at Rettie & Co, I’m thrilled to be starting my own company.  I’m looking forward to working with landowners, property companies and funds to manage the sale and purchase of sites and developments.

Forth House and Playfair House in Edinburgh are prime examples of the work that the new firm will undertake. Not only do they offer excellent income in their current guise as offices but they also present a rare opportunity to be developed into residential, serviced apartments, hotel or student accommodation, all of which will become even more attractive once the nearby Edinburgh St James development is completed in 2020.”

During his 15 years with Rettie & Co, Scarlett has worked on a number of high-profile projects in Edinburgh, including: the acquisition of the Q1 building at Quartermile development on the site of the former Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh; the Summerhall development on the former Royal Dick Vet site; and the Edinburgh St James regeneration project.

His expertise extends beyond Scotland’s capital, with his other work having included the former Yorkhill hospital in Glasgow, the Perth City West development and the former Forth Bridges Hotel in South Queensferry.

Annie Hulme, who has worked alongside Will for more than 10 years, will join Scarlett Land and Development in mid-October.

Simon Rettie FRICS Managing Director at Rettie & Co, added: “Will has been instrumental in building our land and development department as part of the wider land and consultancy team over the past 15 years and so I’m delighted that we will continue to work together as he launches his new venture.

“Our two businesses will continue to work together on the sale of both land and developments across Scotland and the North East of England.”

Prior to joining Rettie & Co in 2002, Scarlett worked as a developer at Kilmartin Property Group.  His career has also included eight years with Clarkson as a shipbroker.  After an initial five years in London, Scarlett moved to Singapore to run a client account based in Jakarta, before spending three years working throughout the South-East Asian market.

He holds a history degree from the University of Bristol and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the University of Strathclyde’s Strathclyde Business School.

Fraser Clark