Glasgow’s biggest office building moves steps closer

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The development of Glasgow’s largest new office building has taken a big step forward after an eight-figure funding deal was agreed.

HFD Property Group (HFD) said it had secured an £88.9 million development loan through the Bank of Scotland real estate and housing team’s green lending initiative for the building at 177 Bothwell Street. Ironically, one of the key tenants for the new offices will be the Clydesdale Bank.

The four-year funding package provides the business with the development capital to complete the 313,116 square feet of commercial accommodation, which is the final part of the Bothwell Exchange office campus in the heart of the city centre.

Once complete, 177 Bothwell Street will be the largest multi-occupancy office building in Glasgow. It has already secured tenants, with Clydesdale-owner CYBG signing a 22-year lease for some 116,000 sq ft of space. In addition, HFD’s managed office division will lease more than 60,000 sq ft of the development.

The building will boast Scotland’s first office rooftop running track, as well as a roof terrace and charging points for electric vehicles. It is also the first development in the country to achieve platinum certification from WiredScore for IT connectivity and resilience.

The development incorporates a number of sustainability features which are supported by the Bank of Scotland green funding initiative.

The latest funding deal follows several financial arrangements from the Bank of Scotland to HFD for successful developments, including the neighbouring 122 Waterloo Street building in 2016, a £39.7m green lending initiative loan for the University of the West of Scotland’s EcoCampus and a £54m investment loan for Sir Ian Wood House in Aberdeen.

Stephen Lewis, managing director at HFD Property Group, said: “Glasgow’s thriving business community needs new, quality office space to support its growth, help attract talent and new occupiers to the city.

“With Bank of Scotland’s backing we’ll be able to realise our ambition of supporting Glasgow’s economic growth by providing modern, sustainable space for world-class occupiers.”

Alan Brennan, relationship director for Bank of Scotland real estate and housing, added: “Having worked with HFD for a number of years now, we’ve witnessed first-hand their commitment to both Scottish business and the environment.

“Our latest green loan to the group will help unlock a highly-sought after scheme that will be at the forefront of the commercial real estate market in the city for years to come.”

Last month it emerged that Glasgow’s office occupier market had signed off on its most active year since records began.

In the final quarter of 2018, almost 233,000 sq ft was transacted in the city centre, taking total take-up for the year to 1,425,419 sq ft – a year-on-year increase of 127 per cent, according to property consultancy JLL.

Major deals which contributed to the record-breaking total included Barclays 470,000 sq ft purchase at Buchanan Wharf, a major pre-let of 187,000 sq ft to HMRC at Atlantic Square and Clydesdale’s pre-let at Bothwell Street.