A radical redevelopment of the St James Centre will not be completed until 2018 it has emerged.
The ambitious St James Quarter was due to be completed in 2016 but that date has been pushed back.
The new project promises a thriving retail and residential hub to replace the current somewhat tired looking St James Centre which opened in 1973.
The residential element of the plan is now due to be completed by 2018, however businesses on the site are still due to open in 2016. The centre will close in 2013 for the redevelopment to take place.
A spokesperson for the St James Quarter said: "We have always made it clear that we are on course for an opening of the shopping centre in 2016, and that date remains on schedule. 2018 is the projected date of the completion of the entire St James Quarter project, which is mainly the conclusion of the residential phase over the retail”.
90 retail units, a hotel and 104 new homes will comprise the new site. 15,000 sq ft of office space was included in the original plans but this element was recently scrapped.
Many parties are optimistic about the project. Graham Bell of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: "You can appreciate any caution from the developer in this climate but two parts of the project are retail and tourism and they are sectors that have continued to do well, so we are pleased that the developer is still committed to this."
The developers Henderson Global Investors stated: “Henderson's believes that the St James Quarter will become an iconic destination that will restore Edinburgh’s reputation as one of Europe’s leading shopping cities. It is forecast that the new development will create up to 4,000 jobs and provide a significant and sustained boost to tourism expenditure of around £20 million annually.”