One of Glasgow's biggest office buildings earmarked for landmark mixed-use development

One of the largest office properties in Glasgow city centre has hit the market offering a “rare redevelopment opportunity”.

Portcullis House, to the left, sits on a 0.8-acre site on India Street. Picture: McAteer Photography

Portcullis House sits on a 0.8-acre site on India Street and extends to almost 100,000 square feet across lower ground, ground, and six upper floors.

Property experts noted that the offices were located close to “prominent” developments including ScottishPower’s vast 220,000 sq ft HQ, Starwood Capital’s St Vincent Plaza development and Moda Living’s build-to-rent development on the former Strathclyde Police HQ.

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Despite the commercial property market being rocked by the global coronavirus emergency, the site is said to offer “significant potential for a large, mixed-use development”.

An initial feasibility study led by Cooper Cromar Architects has been undertaken to identify redevelopment opportunities subject to necessary consents, with options including mixed-use sites comprising office, hotel and build-to-rent accommodation, or a “landmark” office building of up to 275,000 sq ft.

Andy Cunningham, a senior director at property advisor CBRE, said: “The launch to the market of Portcullis House represents an exceptionally rare opportunity to secure a centrally located property, with a number of options to reposition the building via full-scale redevelopment and the potential to significantly increase the net usable accommodation.

“With 682,376 sq ft of Grade A space under construction in the city and 72 per cent already pre-let or pre-sold to the likes of HMRC, Virgin Money & JPMorgan, the availability of new Grade A space is critically low with only 28 per cent of new build stock available.

“There is significant demand for a new flagship development in the city and Portcullis House is ideally located for such a project. The opening of ScottishPower’s HQ in 2017 brought an additional 1,500 employees to the vicinity, while other notable neighbouring occupiers with a large workforce include Santander and KPMG.”

He added: “The feasibility study carried out on behalf of Mapeley identifies the significant potential of the site, with the opportunity to create Glasgow’s first iconic mixed-use development in the style of Manchester’s Spinningfields or Birmingham’s Brindleyplace – a hugely appealing draw for potential occupiers.”

CBRE said the property would be sold subject to a short-term lease from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government until 1 April 2021.

The current Covid-19 lockdown has seen millions of workers switch to working from home, prompting some to question the need for large central office locations in the future.

Last week, CBRE said the coronavirus crisis had injected “substantial uncertainty into the market for an unknown period of time” as it reported a positive start to 2020 for the office sectors in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Alistair Urquhart, a director at CBRE in Glasgow, noted at the time: “Prior to Covid-19, the underlying demand for prime office space in the city remained strong and we have yet to understand the full impact.”

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