Construction of the £850m project is getting under way, with completion due by 2020. The new Edinburgh St James will comprise 850,000 sq ft of retail space, anchored by the John Lewis store.
It will also feature a multi-screen cinema, a 214-room hotel and 150 private apartments. Developers said the revamp represented one of the UK's largest private sector regeneration projects. The original St James Centre opened in 1970 at the end of Edinburgh's famous Princes Street.
Very shortly we shall be getting to the stage where we are starting to build back up the way, reconstructing the Edinburgh St James...Tim Kelly, Project Director, Laing O'Rourke
Adam Wilkinson director of Edinburgh World Heritage, said: "We have a council that is committed to world heritage status, we have a new world heritage site management plan agreed with the council, Historic Scotland and ourselves and it looks at a number of issues including specifically including the quality of development in the city..."