New plans for Bothwell Plaza

28 Aug 2008

by Vivienne Nicoll, Evening Times

Plans have been drawn up for a £140 million hotel and office block in Glasgow - with a 270ft-tall glass tower as its centrepiece.

And details of the development - on the site of the former Albany Hotel in Bothwell Street - today earned the area the title mini Manhattan'.

Last year, the Evening Times revealed proposals for two hotels, a 14-storey office block and a European-style plaza at the site in the heart of the international financial services district.

But new plans for its replacement were lodged with the city council this week.

Aberdeen-based European Development Company now want to build a 4/5 star hotel with 320 bedrooms, a brasserie, lounge bar, piano bar, luxury spa, health and fitness facilities and conference centre.

The building will be split in two with the east side made up of 320,000 sq ft of office space capable of accommodating around 1800 staff.

London-based architects Aedas say the 18-storey Bothwell Plaza will be the tallest commercial property in the city to date and, because it will be both a hotel and office, will be the first building of its kind in Scotland.

It is believed the hotel will employ around 250 people with a further 1000 involved in the construction phase.

Building work is expected to begin this year and will be completed by 2011.

EDC director Ivor Finnie said: "We know how popular the Albany was as a venue for local people and for visitors to Glasgow.

"What we are planning is a completely new development which will carry with it the charm and attraction of the Albany to provide a first class hotel and conference centre."

Neil Baxter, secretary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, said: "The concentration of tall buildings in that area gives it a mini-Manhattan feel, which is positive.

"Tall buildings can be fantastic or can simply be bland but the reputation of these architects goes before them and I am confident they will produce something which will do Glasgow proud."

The Albany opened in 1973 and in its heyday was a popular base for visiting celebrities. It was where Celtic legend Billy McNeill held his testimonial dinner.

Councillor Gordon Matheson said: "The site has been cleared and I am very keen to see development take place. That said, I think there needs to be further discussions with planning officers to sort out some of the details of this application, not least the proposed height of the building."

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

 

  • Architect's impression of new Bothwell Plaza by SMC Jenkins & Marr