Glasgow's St Enoch Centre plans Argyle Street revamp

Part of Glasgow's St Enoch Centre shopping destination is to be knocked down to make way for new flagship retail outlets.

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An artist's impression of the St Enoch Centre's revamped Argyle Street stores. Picture: ContributedAn artist's impression of the St Enoch Centre's revamped Argyle Street stores. Picture: Contributed
An artist's impression of the St Enoch Centre's revamped Argyle Street stores. Picture: Contributed

Mall operator Sovereign Centros has submitted plans to Glasgow City Council to demolish “most” of the buildings at 135 to 153 Argyle Street – currently home to chains including Ann Summers – and replace them with a new “high-quality flagship retail development”.

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In its planning statement, commercial property consultant CBRE said that three operators were at an “advanced stage of discussions” about taking up space in the revamped units, designed by architect Benoy, which recently completed a new terminal at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

It added: “The development proposes a sensitive restoration of the historic façade of the former St Enoch Picture House and secures its retention for the future in a use appropriate to the location for flagship retail users.”

The Picture House began life as a music hall before becoming a cinema and eventually closing in 1935.

Paul Bailey, asset management director at Sovereign Centros, said: “The recent application to enhance holdings on Argyle Street forms a significant part of our ongoing business plan to provide best-in-class accommodation for our retailers and an enhanced customer experience.”

If the plans are approved, the new outlets are expected to open in 2019.

“The proposal to reconfigure the Argyle Street frontage of the St Enoch Centre is proposed with a view to improve the retail offer to this part of the city, and strengthening the role of the St Enoch Centre as well as Glasgow city centre itself,” CBRE added.

The move comes after St Enoch, which first opened its doors in 1989 and attracts 20 million visitors a year, revealed last month that is to gain a Vue cinema complex as part of its multimillion-pound redevelopment.

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The nine-screen cinema is to be located on the upper level of the former BHS store site at the east end of the centre, with additional retailing on the ground floor.

St Enoch, owned by Blackstone Real Estate Partners, said that eight new restaurants were also planned for the site, which is already home to a food court and the likes of Pizza Hut and Nando’s.

Anne Ledgerwood, general manager of the St Enoch Centre, said: “The application for three new flagship units is an important step in the ongoing redevelopment plans. The new flagship units will join the addition of a Vue cinema as well as a variety of leisure opportunities currently planned for the centre.

“Retail has changed considerably in recent years and the new plans take into consideration the additional leisure needs people are seeking to incorporate into their shopping experience while respecting the current retail environment in the city and historic use of the centre. The proposed development will help Glasgow to maintain its reputation as the leading shopping destination outside of London.”

Greetings card retailer Scribbler is expanding its Glasgow presence with a third store, writes Scott Reid.

CBRE has secured the firm as a tenant for 122 Buchanan Street on behalf of landlord Royal London Asset Management.

Founded by husband and wife John and Jennie Procter in 1981, the retailer already has Glasgow stores on Sauchiehall Street and at Central Station.

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Kevin Sims, senior director in CBRE’s retail team, said: “After a competitive bidding situation we secured Scribbler immediately after the previous tenant went into administration, showing the continued strength of occupier demand for Buchanan Street.

“In this age of large global brands it is also good to see there is still space for strong independent retailers on one of the UK’s premier shopping streets.”

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