Commercial property: Former Glasgow printworks site turns a new page

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Refurbishment work has begun at the Ink Building, an eight-storey office block formerly known as Hanover House in Glasgow city centre, with completion expected in March next year.

The building at 24 Douglas Street dates from the 1800s and was formerly the site of printers Aird and Coghill – hence its new name.

When complete, the buiding will have been transformed into high-quality Grade-A contemporary office accommodation offering around 35,000sq ft (3,251sq m), in a market that is currently under-supplied for new Grade-A offices. Savills research shows Glasgow city centre only has enough supply available to meet the Grade-A demand for seven months.

Marketing the Ink Building is being undertaken by Savills as joint agent with Lambert Smith Hampton. The building was purchased by Ambassador Holdings in 2018 and is their third central Glasgow office acquisition, after Granite House in Stockwell Street and The Forsyth Building in Renfield Street.

Granite House is now home to branches of House of Fraser, Clydesdale Bank, Tesco and Specsavers. The Forsyth Building, constructed as a department store, is now retail space and offices adjacent to Central Station.

The Ink Building will be completely refurbished with upgrades to the roof, all-new curtain walling window system with extended glazing to the front elevations, mechanical and electrical replacements, including air conditioning, and lifts.

The building’s revitalised exterior will be decorated with special “breathable” black mineral paint that will not crack or peel, and a re-modelled reception area. The refurbishment will also include digital infrastructure upgrades that will rank the building among the best in the UK for digital connectivity.

Heating and cooling will be provided by an air source heat pump system which helps with the building’s environmental performance.

With typical floor plates of 4,520sq ft, but with the ability to split, it offers a flexible environment which could suit a range of companies. Occupiers can also choose the fit-out that works best for their business.

Colin McGhee, associate director in the office agency team at Savills in Glasgow, says: “There is no shortage of demand for high quality office space in the city centre. Employment growth is forecast at 12 per cent over the next five years translating to roughly 4,000 new jobs in Glasgow.

“Combined with severe under-supply of Grade-A offices, it is clear the Glasgow market is desperately in need of high quality office space. The Ink Building will offer occupiers a unique product within the heart of the city centre core.”

Chris Richardson, investment director, Ambassador Group, says: “Once completed the building will be transformed into a modern, high-tech and high quality office space, delivering much needed Grade-A space to Glasgow.”

The design team are Stallan Brand, PMP, Butler Consulting and Blyth and Blyth, and Thomas Johnstone will undertake the refurbishment works.