finance

Property firm secures planning permission to transform Glasgow icon


Property development and investment firm, Osborne+Co has secured planning consent from Glasgow City Council to create a mixed-use city centre development, following an application made last April.

The major refurbishment project will include the transformation of the City of Glasgow College building – known as the Met Tower – on North Hanover Street, to deliver 120,000 sq ft of ‘de-furbished’ Grade-A office space.

The company plans to demolish an existing ‘podium’ building facing Cathedral Street to make way for a 260-bed hotel across 11 floors, which would connect to the Met Tower via a landscaped plaza, also accessible to the public.

A double height auditorium space will be created below the plaza which could also suit a market hall, co-working space or a suite of adaptable meeting rooms and conferencing facilities. This will link to the reception level of the tower and will have its own separate entrance on North Hanover Street.

Given the building’s location in the heart of the Glasgow City Innovation District, Osborne+Co suggested that the space will be attractive to tech firms, noting neighbouring developments such as the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre and Inovo buildings.

In total, the mixed-use development will represent a £100m investment from Osborne+Co, which also has a construction project underway on Argyle Street which will become JP Morgan’s European technology hub, accommodating up to 2,700 staff.



Will Hean, development director at Osborne+Co, said: “The Met Tower is intrinsic to Glasgow’s identity and we’ve worked closely with key stakeholders to ensure that our final proposal complements the surrounding area and provides dynamic indoor and outdoor space, which will capitalise on its central location beside Queen Street train station.

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“Achieving planning consent comes at a critical time in the real estate market which continues to be challenged because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Despite this, we are committed to investing significantly in Glasgow as we recognise the strength and diversity of the Glasgow economy. Glasgow’s tech sector in particular will be significant as the economy works its way back to strength.”

The existing glazing and covered gables on the Met Tower will be replaced on a like-for-like basis and the existing internal structure of the category B-listed building will be opened up.

Additionally, a double height office space on the rooftop will include a fully glazed gable, its own terrace and a viewing gallery overlooking George Square.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: “This is excellent news and a strong sign of continued investor confidence in the long-term future of Glasgow City Centre. It is a bonus that the Met Tower office and hotel development sits within the University of Strathclyde’s Glasgow City Innovation District and as such is the kind of project that will help shape Glasgow’s growing role in the industries of the future.”

Ahead of the planning application being submitted and determined, Osborne+Co worked with Glasgow City Council and engaged with organisations such as Historic Environment Scotland, Network Rail, City of Glasgow College and Scottish Futures Trust to ensure its proposals support the wider city development strategy.

Savills and Ryden have been appointed as joint letting agents for the Met Tower.



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