Plans submitted to create £100m development in Glasgow city centre - converting 'iconic' building

Detailed plans have been submitted to create a £100 million mixed-use development in the heart of Glasgow city centre.

The exterior of the Met Tower. Picture: contributed.

Global property and investment firm Osborne+Co has submitted a planning and listed building application to Glasgow City Council regarding the proposed transformation of an “iconic” building.

The plans include refurbishing the old City of Glasgow College building, known as the Met Tower, on North Hanover Street, to create 120,000 square feet of grade A office space over 14 floors. The firm said this will help address Glasgow’s critical shortage of available high-quality space.

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It is proposed that the existing glazing will be replaced on a like-for-like basis, and the existing internal structure of the category B listed building will be exposed to allow the original design to be revealed.

How the interior of the proposed refurbishment of the tower will look. Picture: contributed.

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Additionally, proposals include creating a “unique” double-height office space on the rooftop, including a fully glazed gable, its own terrace and a viewing gallery overlooking George Square and the wider city.

To the north of the tower, Osborne+Co aims to demolish an existing “podium” building facing Cathedral Street to make way for a 260-bed hotel across 11 floors that would connect to the Met Tower via a landscaped plaza, also accessible to the public. A market hall/leisure space is planned for below the plaza, which would link to the reception level of the tower and entrances on both North Hanover Street and North Frederick Street.

Engagement

Osborne+Co said it has worked closely with Glasgow City Council and engaged with organisations such as Historic Environment Scotland, Network Rail, Glasgow College and Scottish Futures Trust “to ensure its proposals support the wider city development strategy”. Two public consultations were hosted earlier this year, which it said “highlighted initial public support for the ambitious mixed-use development”.

Will Hean, development director at Osborne+Co, said: “Undoubtedly, the city’s economy will face challenges over the coming weeks and months, but we are determined to underline our commitment to the city by progressing with the application and using the time we have now to ensure we are in a position to move forward when circumstances allow.”

He also praised Glasgow City Council, saying communication during the consideration phase has continued despite the Covid-19 outbreak.

Osborne+Co added that it will be working closely with Glasgow City Council in terms of new planning regulations, part of the emergency legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament last week.

The project team for the proposed refurbishment of the Met Tower and surrounding developments include architect Cooper Cromar; structural engineering firm Woolgar Hunter; environmental design and mechanical and electrical consultant Atelier Ten; planning and property advisor Savills; construction consultant Gardiner & Theobald; and quantity surveying consultant Thomas & Adamson.

Osborne+Co has works already under way in the city for the £140m regeneration project on Argyle Street that it said will provide 283,000 sq ft of office space and become JP Morgan’s new European Technology Hub.

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