Financial Services District to receive a £150m boost

04 Jan 2007

Sunday Herald, by Antony Akilade, Deputy Business Editor

Glasgow's International Financial Services District is to receive a £150 million boost with the announcement that Gladedale Capital plans to build three office blocks.

The scheme is one of the largest office developments in the city in the last five years and will create 389,000sq ft of Grade A office space and host more than 2500 jobs once complete.

The development on the Broomielaw aims to anchor the west end of the IFSD and will be designed to link into an international hotel which is planned for the adjacent site.

Jim McIntyre, managing director of Gladedale Capital, said: "This development represents a major addition to Glasgow's office stock.

"It is a striking new development designed by one of the UK's leading architects and will be a real asset to the city's growing International Financial Services District."

Scottish Enterprise Glasgow said the development would significantly help achieve the IFSD target of two million sqft of Grade A development in the district by 2011.

Assuming the scheme receives planning permission, construction is scheduled to start on the site early in 2008 and is expected to be completed in 2009.

The blocks will rise to 11, 13 and 15 storeys respectively, with underground parking. The company said it had already been approached by a number of parties to discuss forward financing but said it had no firm plans.

Martin Smith, development director on the project for Gladedale, said the development would include retail and leisure units at ground level. Smith was also bullish on the developer's prospects of finding tenants for the project.

He said: "Over the next two years the Glasgow market looks encouraging. Looking at the pipeline going through what we're offering in terms of design, location and floor space is compelling. The supply line in Glasgow is limited and we're reasonably sure that what we're offering will draw people down."

He added: "If you look at most of the developments down on the Broomielaw so far you notice that many of them have turned their backs on the river.

"The river is a tremendous draw. Each of the three buildings we're planning will have frontage onto the Clyde. Not enough people realise the attraction of the Clyde. We're trying to draw it into the site."

Architectural work on the project has been carried out by the Make consultancy. Founders Ewan Anderson and Ken Shuttleworth worked on the Swiss Re building in the City of London, better known as the Gherkin, and also on the Commerzbank tower in Frankfurt.

Smith said: "Ewan and Ken were formerly of Fosters and Partners and they have brought with them the approach used there. The design is place-making."

To date the IFSD has attracted 13,000 jobs over the last five years. Major financial industry players such as JP Morgan, esure, Morgan Stanley and First Data corporation have already taken up space in the district, while Barclays and Direct Line have expanded existing operations.

Gladedale Capital is currently involved in a number of high-profile projects across the UK including the flagship Quartermile scheme in Edinburgh on the site of the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

 

Reproduced with the permission of The Sunday Herald (Glasgow) © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.

  • Gap site of 220 Broomielaw in the IFSD

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